Snow Brings Whiteout Conditions In West, Collapses Roof

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Deep snow has been causing Christmas travel problems in the West.

A snow blown sidewalk is covered in snow once again as the snow continues falling, on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008, in Spokane, Wash., after a record breaking 17 inches fell over a 24 hour period. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

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UNDATED (AP) -- Deep snow has been causing Christmas travel problems in the West.

The National Weather Service has posted winter storm warnings and advisories for large sections of the region.

In California's Sierra Nevada, heavy snow and whiteout conditions shut down an 80-mile stretch of Interstate 80 for several hours. The highway has since reopened.

In Washington state, part of the roof of a high school collapsed under the weight of snow, ice and water from the recent storms. Olympia Fire Department officials say about 2,500 square feet of the roof of fell in. No one was hurt.

But there's good news for skiers. About 2 feet of snow has fallen overnight in the mountains around Lake Tahoe, bringing totals at some resorts in the past two weeks to 10 feet.

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