Drivers, road crews brace for more snow on Snoqualmie Pass

After a weekend of heavy snow in the passes, more is expected again on Monday. On Snoqualmie Pass, road maintenance crews are getting ready for another long night ahead.

Scott Montgomery, a maintenance supervisor in Hyak, said crews were prepping for heavier snowfall and ice later in the afternoon.
"Once we get a certain amount, we have to start plowing," Montgomery explained.

He said falling temperatures late Monday could also make for slick conditions.

"Once [temperatures] drop, especially this time of year, they can do it quite dramatically, especially when we have this cold weather coming in from the north, and it makes a big difference in how the road freezes," said Montgomery.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Snoqualmie Pass snowfall challenges drivers Sunday

He said it's critical that people follow traffic recommendations.

"The vast majority of our closures are simply because people are not following the traction requirements, and they are ill-prepared, and that’s what really causes the vast majority of our closures up here on Snoqualmie Pass," said Montgomery. 

When the Vanderwey and Yarusso family heard at least 12 inches had dropped in Snoqualmie Pass, the gang decided to drive up from Seattle to play in the snow. 

"We wanted to go sledding," said Carter Yarusso, who was visiting from Philadelphia.

Yarusso lost his boot in a deep snow drift while on a sledding run. "I was hoping to go all the way down, but I didn’t see that little dip there," he said.

"Packed a lunch, brought the soccer bench. We are prepared," said Ellen Vanderwey of Seattle. Ellen said she piled her "East Coast cousins" in the car after checking the weather first.

"We drove and it was fine, little flurries. Not a lot," said Vanderwey. "But, you know, we’ll get out of dodge before it starts snowing."

She said the best advice is to know before you go.

"We always check the weather. We always check WSDOT to make sure that the roads are clear. We have all-wheel drive but, you know, we have a lot of kids. So, we want to make sure everybody is safe," said Vanderwey.

WSDOT spokesperson Summer Derrey said the department will be extending winter staffing through April 15. That means dozens of crews will be working in the area of Snoqualmie Pass alone. She said workers are also being pulled from the lowland areas to come help work the passes to keep them clear.

Stay up to date on weather conditions with the FOX 13 Weather app, and check pass conditions and requirements on the WSDOT website or Twitter.

Avalanche danger at Snoqualmie Pass has search and rescue crews standing by

Recent heavy snowfall mixed with the snap of warm spring temperatures creates a recipe for disaster on Washington’s Cascades and mountain passes.

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