Untold Number of People Trapped at Site of Great American Tragedy

Untold Number of People Trapped at Site of Great American Tragedy

A brutal winter storm has unloaded fierce winds and driving snow on California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, stranding vast numbers of motorists near Donner Pass.

As of early Saturday, more than three feet of snow had fallen in areas such as Donner Summit, which lies along Interstate 80 northwest of Lake Tahoe, according to the Weather Channel.

Donner Summit and nearby Donner Pass bear the name of the party of settlers who were trapped in a snowstorm in 1846, as noted by History.com. Of the 81 members of the party who were trapped for months, only 15 made it out of the mountains alive.

The expedition became famous not only for the number of deaths, but also for the fact that survivors resorted to cannibalism, including the murder of two Native Americans.

This weekend’s storm was initially expected to abate Saturday, but Donner Pass has now been warned it could get 18 more inches of snow through early Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times reported that I-80 was almost impassable from the storm. It was later closed.

At one point, “we had a mass amount of vehicles over Donner Summit and it took several hours for emergency vehicles and tow trucks to reach motorists,” the California Highway Patrol said Saturday morning.

“At one point, emergency personnel and tow trucks had a difficult time getting to motorists due to blizzard conditions,” the CHP said, noting that its first step was to rescue trapped drivers and only after that did it try to clear the highway.

A gust of 190 mph was detected Friday night at Palisades Tahoe at an elevation of 8,700 feet, with other locations also reporting high winds.

By the time the show stops, accumulations could reach 12 feet.

According to KGO-TV, blizzard warnings for the Lake Tahoe region continue through Monday.

When the current storm ends, another storm is expected to dump several more inches of snow on the mountains.

Due to the storm, Yosemite National Park was closed for the weekend, the LA Times reported.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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