Snoqualmie, White and Stevens open after closing due to high avalanche danger – KIRO 7 News Seattle

STEVENS PASS. To wash. – Snoqualmie, White and Stevens passes have reopened after being closed due to avalanche danger.

On Monday evening, transport officials said US 2 at Stevens Pass had been closed from Scenic to Coles Corner due to an avalanche and ongoing avalanche danger. The road remained closed overnight but reopened shortly before 8 a.m. on Tuesday. Chains are required.

On the US 2 Stevens Pass we were able to clear the foil and reopened the pass with the necessary chains (expect AWD / 4WD). It is important that travelers do the right thing and chain themselves in the chained areas and pay attention to conditions. The race wins slowly and steadily.

– WSDOT East (@WSDOT_East) February 23, 2021

US 2 at Stevens Pass, US 12 at White Pass and I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass all closed at 6 p.m. on Sunday due to heavy rainfall and increased avalanche danger, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced.

The passes remained closed overnight. The White Pass reopened at 10 a.m. and the Snoqualmie Pass reopened at 12 p.m. on Monday. Stevens Pass reopened around 2 p.m. on Monday, but closed again on Monday evening.

Although the passes have reopened, heavy snowfall is forecast through Tuesday, so further closings and delays are possible, according to WSDOT.

Avalanche control measures were carried out at Stevens Pass on Monday morning. A photo of the scene showed that huge amounts of snow had been brought down and had to be cleared from the highway.

On US 2 Stevens Pass, several natural slides and snow brought down by avalanche control are making for a longer cleaning than usual this morning. Currently we don’t have an estimated reopening for the pass. Stay tuned for updates.

– WSDOT East (@WSDOT_East) February 22, 2021

Stevens Pass is now open but chains are required.

The US 2 Stevens Pass was reopened with the necessary chains. This means that all vehicles except AWD / 4WD require chains – but even then you still need to wear chains (and know how to use them). Take it slow and calm and give way to the vehicle in front of you.

– WSDOT East (@WSDOT_East) February 22, 2021

Avalanche experts informed KIRO 7 that there had not been so many pass closings for several years.

Washington state is not alone as there are avalanche warnings in the mountains as far as Colorado.

A KIRO 7 crew was talking to a trucker who is from Vancouver, British Columbia and is driving to Florida but is stuck in North Bend.

“I’ll just take a break and wait for the road to be safe. We’ll just wait and see, ”he said.

The danger of avalanches also forced the closure of ski areas across the cascades, such as the summit in Snoqualmie, which closed at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Avalanche experts said the mix of old and new weather was responsible for so much disruption.

“The easiest way to think about it is strong over weak. We have a good snowball that brings snow in or rain falls over cold snow, ”said an avalanche expert.

Sunday marked the second time in less than a week that avalanche concerns forced I-90 to close.

When avalanches happen overnight, experts say they may not be a bad thing. This is because slightly unstable snow is permanently wiped out, reducing the risk of avalanches later in the season.

“I don’t know if we’re not in the forest, but in some ways we can calm some of those deeper, weaker layers.”

The Northwest Avalanche Center issued an avalanche warning for HIGH to EXTREME in the Cascades from I-90 to the north by 6 p.m. tomorrow. #wawx

– NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) February 22, 2021

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