SNOQUALMIE PASS – Heavy snowfall (8 inches since 6 a.m.) high winds, poor visibility and spun out vehicles that are blocking the roadway caused WSDOT to close Snoqualmie Pass (elevation 3,022 ft.) from North Bend to Cle Elum at 11:33 a.m.
At 11:58 a natural avalanche (about 10 ft. deep) covered all three westbound lanes of I-90, just west of the summit (milepost 51). The high risk of avalanche danger, in addition to the spun-out blocking vehicles, and the heavy snowfall caused WSDOT to close I-90 from North Bend to Ellensburg.
“Our avalanche team is assessing the risk for more avalanches to occur and it is likely that they will need to do avalanche control work in several locations before we can open the highway,” said Todd Trepanier, WSDOT South Central Region Maintenance Engineer.
Due to the heavy snowfall occurring now (2 to 3 inches per hour), and a forecast that shows continued heavy snowfall for the next 36 hours, travel over any Cascade mountain pass will be very challenging.
For updates on I-90 Snoqualmie Pass road conditions visit the website or call 511. Look for photos on Flickr.