Update 1:15 a.m. Dec. 25
The West Bound lanes of Interstate 90 on Snoqualmie Pass have reopened. The pass is now open in both directions.
Drivers are reminded that there are still winter storm conditions in the mountains and they need to be prepared and drive for conditions. Drivers should slow down, give themselves extra time for travel and leave extra space between vehicles. Drivers also should carry chains and other winter weather supplies and be prepared for slow traffic and congestion at times. See below for more details about winter driving and supplies.
With more than 112 inches of snow over the last seven days and 25 inches in the last 24 hours, trees leaning over the roadway and high avalanche risk I-90 over Snoqualmie pass is currently closed indefinitely. Closure points are from milepost 34 in North Bend to milepost 106 near Ellensburg.
The amount of snow on the pass has been massive. Last night we were getting two inches of snow an hour in spots. The pass usually gets between 300 to 400 inches of snow each winter, so the past week has seen more than a quarter of an entire season's snowfall on the pass. That increases avalanche danger both because of the amount of snow and the fact that snow on lower levels hasn't had a chance to settle and compact.
Trees in the area also are very heavy with snow and many have already fallen or are leaning over the roadway.
Our crews have been working around the clock on the pass and are busy clearing roads as well as clearing those trees that have come down on the roadway due to heavy snow.
They're also out doing avalanche control. The snow is so heavy, though, that by the time they clear avalanche chutes on one side of the pass, the ones on the other side fill back up. Our nationally recognized avalanche forecasters also closely watch conditions and do on-the-ground evaluations to analyze avalanche threats.
I-90 over the pass closed several times yesterday as crews worked to clear spinouts and collisions on the roadway.
|The scene near the old snowshed. More than 15 feet of snow is across the roadway.|
Why are the pass cameras down?
There's a power outage up at the pass affecting the cameras and the ski resort. Puget Sound Energy crews are hard at work to restore the power but are facing big challenges with the weather.
Forecasters are calling for another foot of snow today and another foot of snow this evening over the passes.
What about US 2?
US 2 over Stevens Pass reopened at 1 p.m. Thursday December 24th.
With I-90 closed we expect heavy traffic on US 2, US 12 and I-84.
What can you do?
Follow along on this blog, Twitter, Facebook, use our Android or iPhone mobile app and the Snoqualmie pass website.
One of the biggest challenges crews faced yesterday were folks traveling up over the passes unprepared. If you decide to go over a pass during the next few days, make sure you have plenty of food, water and emergency supplies for you and your family and be prepared for delays and winter storm conditions.