'Extreme' blizzard hits California, Nevada and Utah causing widespread disruption

'Extreme' blizzard hits California, Nevada and Utah causing widespread disruption

An “extreme” blizzard has caused widespread disruption in the western US – with more than 10 ft of snow piling up in places.

Thousands of properties were left without power in California and Nevada over the weekend, while the state of Utah was also hit.

The states have also been affected by heavy rain and wind speeds of more than 100mph – including a tornado that rained debris down on an elementary school in Madera County, California.

Hundreds of motorists were left stranded on the Interstate 80 highway between Reno and Sacramento due to the conditions, forcing authorities to shut down 100 miles (160km) of the busy road.

Officials said there had been “multiple” reports of crashes and drivers losing control.

A Major League Soccer game in Salt Lake City, Utah, was among the sporting fixtures disrupted – although officials controversially decided to allow play to continue despite heavy snow, a two-hour delay to kick-off and a stoppage for lightning.

Los Angeles FC manager Steve Cherundolo, whose side lost 3-0 to hosts Real Salt Lake, branded Saturday’s match a “disgrace” and said it should have been called off.

Several ski resorts in the affected states were also forced to close due to the amount of snowfall and poor visibility.

More than 7,000 homes in California were left without power, while power cuts in and around Las Vegas affected almost 29,000 properties on Saturday.