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State Patrol stops escorts to Index; 30-mile stretch of US 2 remains closed ‘indefinitely’

A blockade is set up at US 2, where a 30-mile stretch is closed due to falling trees from heavy snowfall. Photo courtesy WSP

INDEX, Wash. — Washington State Patrol has stopped escorting people to Index along U.S. 2 in Snohomish County as conditions worsen and trees continue to fall.

The highway between Gold Bar and Skykomish has been closed since Sunday night, when a winter storm brought down trees and power lines, creating hazardous driving conditions. Hundreds of drivers were stranded overnight into Monday.

Backups and closures started up on Stevens Pass around 2:30 p.m. Sunday due to collisions and spin outs. While crews were clearing the crashes, snow continued to pile up, along with vehicles that were waiting to drive through. The power lines started to come down just before 6 p.m. At one point, a tree struck one of the work trucks, and by 7 p.m. officials made the decision to close that portion of the road in both directions. It has been closed ever since.

Tuesday morning, State Patrol said it was taking trips once an hour to escort people to and from Index, even though the roadway remains closed. But troopers said they have to stop those escorts midday Tuesday because “trees were coming down all around us.”

The already buried highway is expected to get another round of heavy snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Data pix.

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