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Thursday, February 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sheriff: 1 dead, 1 seriously injured in Lake Tahoe avalanche

Chris Francovich points toward Alpine Meadows, the ski resort he learned to ski at growing up in Tahoe, California. (Eli Francovich / The Spokesman-Review)
Chris Francovich points toward Alpine Meadows, the ski resort he learned to ski at growing up in Tahoe, California. (Eli Francovich / The Spokesman-Review)

TAHOE CITY, Calif. – At least one person has died and another was seriously injured Friday in an avalanche at a Northern California ski resort, authorities said.

The avalanche came after a storm passed through the area Thursday and dumped snow at Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows, a ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area.

The Sierra Avalanche Center had warned of dangerous avalanche conditions for all elevations. Its website that there was “a high degree of uncertainty in regards to snowpack instability near and below treeline.”

The storm dumped up to 25 inches of snow at the top of the resort, said Edan Weishahn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Reno, Nev. She said 1 to 2 feet of snow fell in the surrounding mountains over a 24-hour period.

An avalanche at Alpine Meadows in March 1982 killed seven people, including several employees of the ski resort. It struck several buildings, including the main lodge and two chairlifts, and buried the resort’s parking lot.

The Placer County sheriff’s office initially said on Twitter that several people were unaccounted for following the avalanche. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The sheriff said the avalanche occurred “near the Subway ski run, which is a beginner’s area at the base of steep expert terrain that features a mix of runs through evergreen trees, around a series of and down narrow gullies.“

On its website, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort touts itself as a “picturesque playground for families and off-the-radar thrill-seekers.“ The property has more than 100 trails across 2400 acres, groomed runs and chalet-style lodges. The resort is in Tahoe City and about 7 miles from Lake Tahoe.

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