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Mt. Lemmon highway reopens following storm

Road to Mt. Lemmon reopens following winter storm
Posted at 3:04 PM, Feb 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 20:12:25-05

Authorities reopened Catalina Highway Tuesday following a winter storm that caused dangerous driving conditions. 

Anyone going past mile post 11 will need chains or four-wheel drive as there are still several icy spots. Mt. Lemmon Fire says crews often have to rescue cars stuck on the ice. 

"It seems that with the four-wheel drive and the chains, it comes off as more of a suggestion as opposed to actually a rule," said Capt. Dan Leade with Mt. Lemmon Fire. 

Leade also said fire crews responded to a few calls of downed trees blocking the road following the storm and that high winds continue to cause a concern. 

"Realistically 20-25 mile an hour winds could snap one of these dead standing trees," he said.

Sunday night's storm dropped five new inches of snow at Ski Valley on an existing base of about 24 inches. Employees had to clear trees and debris from some of the slopes. 

Ski Valley will reopen Thursday for skiing and snowboarding. 

The storm Sunday night into Monday morning also caused more than 180 customers on Mt. Lemmon to lose power. According to Trico Electric, it was too dangerous for crews to assess the damage Sunday night so they returned Monday. 

A Trico spokeswoman says as of 12:40 p.m. Monday, all but 12 customers had their power restored. Two outages were caused by trees in power lines. 

To get the latest road conditions, call the Pima County road conditions hotline at 520-547-7510.