Snoqualmie Pass closed through Saturday
Snoqualmie Pass will remain closed until at least Friday and probably until Saturday, because "extreme weather has created havoc across much of the state."
Interstate 90 is closed from North Bend to Ellensburg.
Stevens, White and Blewett passes are also closed.
"Conditions are so hazardous – including snow slides, trees falling and high avalanche concern – that it is too dangerous for our snowplow and avalanche control crews to be in the areas," according to the Washington Department of Transportation.
Additionally, the two other east-west routes – SR 14 and Oregon’s I-84, which run through the Columbia River Gorge – are closed to freight traffic, with I-84 being closed to all vehicles.
The current conditions on the passes include very heavy snowfall, near-zero visibility and falling debris like trees onto the highway.
"Once the snowfall lets up, the forecast calls for heavy rain, including freezing rain, which will increase avalanche danger," WSDOT posted on its Facebook page
WSDOT said once it determines it is safe enough for our crews, there will still be significant work to do before it can reopen the passes. This includes:
• Assessing avalanche risk and doing avalanche control work
• Plowing the roads to make them passable, including clearing trees and other debris which may have come down
• Clearing overhead signs of snow and ice
• Accessing and clearing catch basins for drainage
"As you can see, all of this work is going to take quite awhile. We recognize the importance of these corridors but nothing is more important than the safety of our crews and you, the traveling public," a Facebook post says.