Freezing rain impacts last minute Christmas shoppers, travelers in North Bend

The weather didn’t make it easy for last-minute Christmas shoppers and travelers who had stopped at the North Bend Premium Outlets mall on Christmas Eve. 

Shoppers in North Bend had to brave flooding, driving rain and ice as they tried to pick up gifts.  

"I stuck with this side, because this is what’s available," said Erin Wilson, a resident of North Bend.   

She found that some shops at North Bend Premium Outlets had closed or were closing early due to weather. 

"We thought the roads were going to be good.  Well, the roads are OK, but when you get in here, it’s so flooded," said Wilson. 

Navigating the parking lot also included avoiding downed trees and tree limbs. Falling ice was also a hazard. 

"This is as far as we go because we are coming from Seattle," said Lupe Benitez. 

She and her husband Ramiro Benitez were shopping for work clothes. Ramiro said he was nervous about walking on the ice after he slipped during Friday’s ice storm.  

"Ask me about yesterday," he said. "I fell down myself and I hurt my back, so I’m not too happy about it." 

Meantime, some folks were trying to wait out the closure of I-90 through Snoqualmie Pass. 

"While we were walking over there we were both sliding, so we are doing our best not to fall," said Stacy Anguiano.  

Stacy and her husband, Christian Anguiano, hunkered down at the outlet mall while hoping I-90 would reopen Saturday. 

"We are from Ammon, Idaho. We are just trying to get home," said Stacy.   

"My mom lives over in Mount Vernon, and we are driving through the pass trying to get back home, and it’s closed right now," said Christian Anguiano.  

Tammie Kerley was trying to get home to Spokane. 

"The pass is closed, and we don’t know exactly when the pass is going to be open, and we thought, we’ll just stay here for a while, and it’s still closed," she said. "If we have to go to Oregon, it’s a 10-hour drive."  

Aside from travelers and shoppers, businesses were also doing their best to deal with the mess.  

When we were in Columbia, they said part of their roof started leaking," said Stacy. "So they had to bring out some of their clothes to start drying them."

"It’s been kind of crazy with the weather," said Christian.