NORTH BEND, Wash. -- Treacherous winter conditions forced transportation officials to keep Interstate 90 closed all day Tuesday over Snoqualmie Pass.
The closure is both directions of I-90 from milepost 34 near North Bend to milepost 106 near Ellensburg.
The Washington State Department of Transportation cited severe weather conditions, poor visibility, avalanches, and continued avalanche danger. The pass has been closed since Monday afternoon.
A state official measured 53 inches of snow in 48 hours on the pass.
“We haven’t seen monumental snow accumulation like this in over 20 years,” said Harry Nelson, WSDOT maintenance superintendent. “We are literally digging our way out of all this snow so that we can get it back open for drivers.”
Those already stuck on the pass were to be escorted out in a convoy at 3:00 p.m., officials said:
"A convoy is planned for 3 p.m. today. Vehicles are lining up along SR 906 at the summit at exit 52. To avoid avalanche danger, vehicles will be escorted to North Bend off the hill in the eastbound lanes."
WSDOT issued the following statement Tuesday morning:
"I-90 will remain closed all day eastbound from milepost 34 near North Bend and westbound from milepost 106 near Ellensburg due to severe weather conditions, avalanches and avalanche danger. A reopening time is still unknown. Updates will be provided as information is available."
Washington State Patrol troopers shared photos of conditions worsening on the freeway.
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An image tweeted by Summit at Snoqualmie showed an Alpental chairlift buried under feet of snow. Even the snow plows and groomers were buried.