Californians face long delays as snow, ice close roads to Vegas

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LAS VEGAS -- Californians headed for a weekend in Las Vegas may want to reconsider driving, officials said Friday morning, as a winter storm caused hours-long delays.

Interstate 15 was closed in both directions at the California-Nevada state line Thursday night as crews worked to remove as much as three feet of snow and ice, Caltrans said.

The freeway remained shut down until about 9 a.m. Friday, when authorities determined the roads were clear enough to pass through again. In the hour after the freeway opened, travelers on Twitter warned traffic was still moving at a crawl.

The National Weather Service said heavy snow fell at elevations as low as 3,000 feet between southern Nevada and Southern California on Thursday.

FOX 5 spoke with one San Diego family that spent nearly 24 hours on the road to Vegas trying to find an alternative route.

The family told FOX 5 they left Del Mar at 7 a.m. Thursday. Deterred from I-15, they spent two hours on state Route 138, before that highway was closed due to snow and ice too. After several more freeway changes and hours of delays, they finally arrived at their Las Vegas destination around 5 a.m. Friday.

The county had snow closures of its own on Thursday.

All eastbound lanes of I-8 were closed just past Alpine for several hours, and eastbound state Route 78 and 79 were closed in the Santa Ysabel area. All three highways reopened after several hours.

Hitting the road this weekend? Make sure to check our live traffic map first.

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