SQUAW VALLEY (KPIX) — Caltrans was in full winter mode Wednesday during the lull before the anticipated evening arrival of the week’s biggest storm.

There was a bustle of activity at the Kingvale maintenance yard as crews got ready, making equipment repairs, restocking sand and salt and preparing for around-the-clock staffing.

“We have just over 200 people all the way up Donner Pass and the secondary routes,” said Caltrans Donner Pass Superintendent Greg Dealba. “We have plenty of blowers, plows, sanders and different types of specialty equipment.”

Wednesday night’s winter storm warning goes into effect at 10 p.m. Upper elevations could see close to three feet by Friday morning.

Traveling through the mountain passes of the Sierra will just get more difficult once the heavier snow begins to fall. Chain restrictions are likely on I-80 and probable on Highway 50.

Earlier Wednesday, rain was falling, but snow levels could drop considerably by midnight and possibly as low as 4,000 feet by Thursday.

“We’re so excited. We’ve all been doing the snow dance and we want snow on the ground for the holidays,” said Jennifer Simon with Tahoe Tavern Properties.

This round of storms is good news for Simon. Right now, Tahoe Tavern Properties have plenty of rental vacancies at the lake. They are looking forward to the fresh layer of powder that will spur visitors to head into town to enjoy it.

“Oh my gosh, it’s huge! I mean the drought years were so tough, so we are just so ready,” said Simon. “Come up to Tahoe!”

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