Snoqualmie Pass Closed Again: Treacherous Heavy Snow, High Avalanche Danger

Parked semi trucks litter I-90 between Snoqualmie and North Bend, beginning at the exit 25 off-ramps.  Once you hit exit 32 on eastbound I-90, it’s just one long stretch of trucks parked along the roadside, patiently waiting.

They’d been waiting for about 14 hours when finally an estimate was announced regarding when they’d be able to hit the road again…. nearly another four hours.

For those heading toward Snoqualmie Pass, Monday, March 3rd, be prepared to hit that same road block – flashing police lights at exit 34.  I-90 over Snoqualmie pass is closed in both direction for 73 miles – from North Bend to exit 106 near Ellensburg.

WSDOT now says they hope to reopen the pass around 4:30PM, March 3rd – once they’ve determined the risk of avalanches, falling trees and spinouts is low.

Heavy, fast-falling  snow brought down trees, causing slides, creating dangerous conditions for drivers and for crews trying to clear the road.  The treacherous conditions forced the closure of I-90 around 11PM, Sunday, March 2, 2014.

Washington State DOT crews waited for daylight to evaluate the situation, but at 8AM, with heavy snow still falling, there was still no way to estimate SnoSummitwhen the busy mountain pass might reopen.

According to the WSDOT website, “Extremely heavy snow fall and slide activity caused the closure, crews have performed avalanche control and are working to clear snow, trees and debris from the roadway.”

An avalanche warning for the Cascade Mountains remains in effect Monday March 3rd. The National Weather Service says the risk of an avalanche is very high.

Morning news reports stated that Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers who responded to the pass Sunday night could hear cracking trees as they attempted to help stranded motorists.  One WSP vehicle was also hit by a jack-knifed semi truck trying to descended the pass heading west. Luckily the vehicle was empty at the time of the collision.

 

 

 

 

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