NORTH BEND, Wash. — It’s cold, windy and snowy. That’s winter in the Pacific Northwest.
But people have places to go.
“I’m going to the Christmas tree lighting in Leavenworth,” said Brittany Smith as she put chains on her Subaru Friday night on I-90.
Smith was determined to do whatever it took to make it over Snoqualmie Pass.
“Including putting on chains,” said Smith.
That meant tugging, pulling and getting a little snowy. She practiced beforehand but it’s different in these types of conditions.
“A lot trickier, considering it was dry when I put them on,” said Smith
Mark Powell was also heading over the pass.
“Heading out to Pullman for my son’s graduation from WSU,” said Powell.
Something he wasn’t going to miss.
“First time I’ve used these types of chains but my son was able to help me so we got them on,” said Powell.
Washington State Patrol says on days like Friday they respond to slide-off after slide-off.
“So, that’s all we do,” said WSP Trooper Rick Johnson.
The biggest reason people end up in the ditch? Speed.
“Talked to one of the troopers that was up there and he said, ‘People are just going too fast,’” said Johnson.
Smith didn’t need chains for her all-wheel drive Subaru but she’s wasn’t taking chances. She’s got precious cargo on board. One-year-old Brayden doesn’t want to miss the lights either. WSP says every driver should be that cautious.
“Even with great tread, you can slide and go out of control,” said Johnson.
So how did Smith feel after getting her chains on in the blowing snow? “Cold, very cold,” she said.
Cold -- but feeling safer on a stormy night.
Late Friday night, Johnson tweeted, "The Washington State Patrol has investigated 113 collisions in the past 24 hrs in King County. Multiple spin outs not included in count!"