PHOTO: Avalanche Swallows 3-Story Apartment Building Near Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Avalanche (Placer County Sheriff's Office via Associated Press)
Placer County Sheriff's Office via Associated Press

An avalanche in Olympic Valley, California, northwest of Lake Tahoe, buried the bottom two stories of a three-story apartment building on Wednesday, requiring an evacuation of the building’s residents, who left safely.

Local NBC affiliate News 4 reported:

An avalanche struck a three-story apartment building in Olympic Valley, California, around 7 p.m. on Feb. 28. No occupants were injured and they were able to evacuate the building with help from fire crews, authorities with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office say.

The avalanche was approximately 200 yards wide and 25 feet deep and engulfed the bottom two stories of the building.

Due to the heightened avalanche risk, several additional areas were evacuated[.]

Snow continued to fall across the state on Wednesday, even reaching Los Angeles at higher elevations. In mountain communities, many residents remained trapped, unable to work or even to leave their homes.

First responders were dispatched to several communities, delivering emergency supplies and helping residents plow roads, to clear dooways, and even to salvage scarce groceries.

The Associated Press reported:

In San Bernardino County east of Los Angeles, around-the-clock plowing is underway but it could take more than a week to reach some areas, said Dawn Rowe, chair of the county’s board of supervisors. Residents are dealing with as much as 7 feet (2 meters) of snow, and sheriffs’ authorities have conducted 17 rescue operations to help off-roaders and skiers. Emergency crews are trying to reach residents who need assistance.

In Crestline, the entire roof of Goodwin and Sons Market collapsed Wednesday as safety inspectors were onsite checking up on reported damage. Officials raced to salvage food that residents sorely need from its shelves.


Residents of these towns are grappling with so much snow they’re running out of space to put it; clearing one area adds heaps to another. Grocery shelves had run bare of some items, like bread, and were running low on eggs and milk Tuesday. Cars remained buried under snow and roads closed.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) belatedly declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, a week after the latest storms began. There will be two days of clear weather before more snow arrives in the Sierra Nevada this weekend.

As the San Francisco Chronicle notes, it is possible that storms will continue for the first two weeks of March, since there is no high pressure system yet off the Pacific Coast that can divert incoming storms from the Pacific.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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