I-90 reopens after landslide, but further slides or an avalanche possible

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SEATTLE -- A landslide on I-90 Snoqualimie Pass made for a messy commute Monday morning.

While the road opened back up early Monday, the threat of more trouble in that area looms The Washington Department of Transportation says there is still a threat of more slides, and possibly an avalanche.

From darkness into daylight, drivers waited for the sun to come out as traffic stood at a stand-still on I-90 near North Bend.

Driver Anthony Accetturo joined a number of people watching and waiting for the road to re-open after a landslide pulled down trees and boulders the size of cars into the eastbound lane.

“We were supposed to be driving over at Moses Lake so it’s cleared, but there were some big size trees and rocks is what I hear,” Accetturo said.

WSDOT says it waited until 10:00 a.m. to assess the situation because crews needed the help of sunlight.

“We have had quite a bit of precipitation in the last couple of months,” said John Stimberis, WSDOT's highway avalanche forecaster. “We had over 52 inches of total precipitation, so that probably will lead to instability.”

While the mess is cleaned up and the road open, they know they aren’t out of the woods just yet.

“We’re definitely doing better and as the snow pact builds, we need to be concerned about avalanche danger,” Stimberis said.

WSDOT avalanche forecasters say they were headed up to the weather station Monday on Denny Mountain to monitor temperature, wind direction and speed to see if more danger is near.

 

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