Mendocino and Lake County commuters are in for a slow ride home this evening along State Route 20 as a storm system has moved eastward dumping snow and frozen rain shutting down the heavily trafficked roadway.
Both Mendocino and Lake County Caltrans officials have decided to shut down the route as snowplows are dispatched to clear the roadway and make it safe for travel.
The California Highway Patrol Traffic Incident Information indicates both west and eastbound traffic is heavily impacted, especially in the area described as just west of the Mendocino/Lake County Line near Witter Springs.
A shot of a Caltrans Traffic camera looking east near the intersection of SR 20 and SR 29 in Lake County shows a roadway slick with the storm and a long line of red brake lights to the horizon.
UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Snowplows are reportedly on SR-20 attempting to scrape one lane clear to allow for through traffic.
Also, multiple vehicles are reportedly stuck on State Route 175 between Hopland and Lakeport, another artery often used by commuters between Mendocino and Lake Counties.
UPDATE 6:37 p.m.: Traffic seems to be moving slowly westbound. The CHP Traffic Incident Information Page indicates that traffic has opened up moving westbound from the Lake County side.
UPDATE 6:57 p.m.: The Caltrans Quickmap indicates the eastbound lane of SR-20 is currently more significantly impacted than then westbound. The hard closures seem to have been lifted but traffic is still impacted and slow.
UPDATE 7:40 p.m.: This photograph was provided to us by Justin Hamaker who told us it was taken in the area of Buffalo Ranch near the Lake County line around 5:30 p.m.
Also, SR-20 is officially open. The Caltrans Quickmap indicates there are no significant impacts to traffic. Remain vigilent.