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Caltrans, ski resorts warn travelers to check conditions as winter storm approaches

Some parts of the Sierra are forecasted to get 4 to 6.5-feet of snow over the weekend.

KIRKWOOD, Calif. — A winter storm system is headed to Northern California and is expected to bring a great deal of rain to the valley and snow to the Sierra this weekend.

Caltrans crews and local ski resorts are eyeing the forecast as mountain areas brace for impact.

Between 3-4 feet of snow is forecasted to fall over the Kirkwood area this weekend and over 6 feet is expected in other parts of the Sierra.

"We're expecting so much snow that there's also risks for snow safety concern," said Dennis Baggett, spokesperson for Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

Kirkwood said teams are ready to work hard this weekend, but the storm may impact lift operations.

"If the snow is piling up so much and we can't keep up with the amount we're getting, we'll need to shut down the lifts to do avalanche mitigation," said Baggett. "The wind is definitely a concern. If the winds are coming in at a certain direction where they really impact the chairs then we'll always prioritize safety."

The resort is warning guests hoping to travel to the area to be prepared and check conditions before heading out on the road.

Caltrans said drivers should prepare for chain controls on I-80 and U.S. Route 50.

The agency said they are staffed and ready for the storm, but expect longer travel times.

"In those type of conditions, people are driving too fast, we see spin outs, people getting stuck, big rigs have trouble getting over higher elevations. We're hoping for best case scenario but prepare for worst," Steve Nelson, public information officer for Caltrans, said.

For the latest updates on road conditions, check out the Caltrans QuickMap.

Watch more from ABC10: Weekend winter storm to impact millions from the Bay to the Sierra

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