(AP) A “bomb cyclone” caused by a rapid drop in air pressure brought snow to the mountains and wind and rain along the California and Oregon coasts. Drivers on Interstate 5 near the Oregon-California border spent 17 hours or more in stopped traffic as blizzard conditions whirled outside. Some slept in their vehicles.
"It's one of those things, you couldn't make it up if you tried," National Weather Service meteorologist Brent Hewett said of back-to-back storms forming around the holiday.
Christina Williams and her 13-year-old son, who live in Portland, Oregon, got stuck in the storm as they tried to drive to the San Francisco area for Thanksgiving. Williams said she and other stranded drivers connected on Twitter using weather-related hashtags and began to communicate to find out what conditions were like in other parts of the backup.
“There were spinouts everywhere. There were trucks that were abandoned. And every time we stopped and started moving again, there were people who couldn't start moving again,” Williams said. “Every time we stopped I was like, ‘Is this it? Are we going to be here overnight?’”
It took more than 17 hours to reach Redding, California, where they got a hotel room, she said.