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Blizzard closes highway connecting California to Oregon | Radio WGN 720

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In this photo provided by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, MMSA, snow continues to fall with storm totals over four feet at Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., early Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. Another storm rolls in over California as the state cleans up from a powerful weather system that blanketed mountains in much-needed snow and set records for rainfall in a drought-stricken state. Wednesday’s storm is expected to primarily affect Northern California. (Peter Morning/MMSA via AP)

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Heavy snowfall, blizzard conditions and stranded vehicles shut down part of the main West Coast highway connecting California to Oregon as the last of the storms row has spread, authorities said.

Interstate 5 was closed north of the town of Redding on Wednesday afternoon and had not reopened by early Thursday, according to the California Department of Transportation, known as Caltrans. Redding is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of San Francisco.

There was no estimated time for the reopening as highway and utility crews were still assessing the roadway, removing dangerous trees and reinstating power lines, said Haleigh Pike, a Caltrans spokeswoman.

The Oregon Department of Transportation tweeted late Wednesday that it had closed the southbound lanes of I-5 from the town of Ashland at the request of California officials.

Winter storm warnings or advisories are expected to remain in effect until mid-morning Thursday for parts of northern California, Oregon and Nevada, followed by persistent rain and snow showers, forecasters said. .

South of San Francisco, a 40-mile (64-kilometer) stretch of scenic Highway 1 in the Big Sur area reopened Wednesday night after storm damage was cleaned up.

This week’s storms dumped large amounts of snow in California’s drought-stricken mountains and flooded lower elevations with heavy rain.