SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. - This week over 375 inches of snow were measured in Snoqualmie Pass, surpassing the ten-year average, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The snow banks are also reaching heights of up to 12 feet, and stunning people who live near the mountain pass.
"I mean this weather has been pretty crazy," said Glenn Vickery. "We’ve actually had some really good light snow, but it’s been a lot of snow and it’s been unique with this pebble-like snow, so it’s been a crazy year with a lot of different weather conditions. It’s been pretty cool."
Silas Wild is an avid skier and drove down Snoqualmie Pass to North Bend before sunset. "Coming up you could see all the trucks were stopped to chain up and the plows were plowing and causing a little slowdown, so I’m glad I’m going down and not up," said Wild.
Since November, I-90 to Snoqualmie Pass was closed for more than 40 hours due to collisions, spinouts and avalanche control work.
"With COVID and people wanting to do stuff outdoors, people are coming up here that maybe aren’t prepared for the conditions or aren’t prepared for the highway to shutdown randomly, and not be able to get home," said Vickery. "It’s tough to drive in these conditions even for somebody who has driven in them a lot, so if you don’t have the right car for it, right equipment for it, nothing good is going to come of that."
A spokesperson with WSDOT is urging the traveling public to be prepared.
"Drivers definitely are going to have a challenging time if they’re going to be traveling across Snoqualmie Pass Tuesday night, so by being prepared that means you have the appropriate type of traction tires, you have chains, you know how to put them on and you’re abiding by the traction tire requirements because the last thing we want to do is close the pass because we have to clear collisions," said Meagan Lott, communications manager for WSDOT.
A crew of about 12 to 15 people manage the snow removal between North Bend and Ellensburg, which is a 52-mile stretch, and Lott said WSDOT is prepared to pull extra resources from Ellensburg or Cle Elum if necessary.