Snoqualmie Pass temporarily closes after 3′ of snow in last five days
Snoqualmie Pass, WASH. — I-90 was closed eastbound over Snoqualmie Pass for a little over an hour Tuesday night after receiving nearly 3′ of snow over the past five days.
“They’re sliding into the ditch or they’re spinning out. I’ve seen a couple cars spin out in front of me,” said truck driver Daniel Elmore, who drives this route about five times a week.
Elmore says he's had to chain up close to twenty times this season.
The Northwest Avalanche Center saying this storm system is dumping some of the most snow the pass has seen all winter. Several other December and January storms saw 2' of snow.
Conditions Tuesday forced even the most experienced drivers heading east and westbound over I-90 to stop and chain up.
"It's not easy driving in the snow especially when there's ice underneath it," said Elmore. "I'm just trying to get across it so I can go home."
Elmore made it – but barely before one spin out after another forced troopers to close the eastbound lanes around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
According to WSDOT, Snoqualmie Pass has already closed more than a half dozen times so far this season.
"I'm more worried about other drivers than I am about the snow, so I guess its really just—take your time and be really careful," advised Ryan Leppert who was chaining up before the summit, headed to Spokane.
WSDOT says they're teaming up with additional WSP Troopers, positioned along the pass to help clear stranded motorists and assist travelers chaining up.
They also issued several tickets to truck drivers trying to make it over the summit without chains--many of whom had to be towed off the interstate after getting stuck in the snow.
"They'll slide and close the pass for the rest of us," said Jamie Finnigan, driving over the pass with his family.
Finnigan, predicted the pass would close tonight, but he certainly wasn't expecting to get stuck because of a flat tire.
"We live down in North Bend. We drive up here a lot, but this time around we just picked up a hook of somebody else chain," said Finnigan, still in good spirts.
WSP Troopers say despite the nuisance when chains are required, drivers are obligated to carry them in their cars--even if they have all wheel driver or studded snow tires.