KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. -- Winter season officially arrived in Snoqualmie Pass on Monday. A full day of snowfall kept crews with Washington State Department of Transportation busy clearing roads.
A representative with WSDOT said they planned several days in advance for the snow. Crews pretreated the roads with a de-icer ahead of Monday’s traffic to help ensure a safer commute.
WSDOT crews rotated 12-hour shifts to remove snow from the roads. Drivers said their commute was pretty smooth.
“A little slushy, but overall it’s been decent,” said Sam Othman, who is visiting from California. “It’s nothing like California. So, that’s why we’re out here taking pictures because this is something we don’t see.”
“Bare and wet up to the top of the pass. Actually, the freeway is pretty bare. They’ve plowed really well. A little slush in places once you get in the parking lots and you need four-wheel drive to get around,” said David Wright, who is visiting from Denver.
Flashing overhead signs alerted drivers of the slushy road conditions. WSDOT said some plows had to slow down in order to work around a few cars that spun out on the interstate.
“I think the scariest part is other drivers, actually,” said Debra Harrington, who was traveling from Leavenworth. “Sometimes you won’t know what to do if they’re spinning out or if there’s an accident in front of them. A lot of people just freak out. You have to stay calm.”
Some drivers got a head start on Thanksgiving travels by leaving Monday. They had a word of caution for other people they’ll be sharing the roads with.
“Drive slow, be safe out there, and give yourself 30 minutes or an hour extra time just to get to where you want to get,” said Hasan Alkooheji, who was traveling from Leavenworth.
WSDOT said all drivers visiting the pass should keep tire chains in their car. Officials referred people to their website and app to stay informed about tire and chain requirements.