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WSDOT Snoqualmie rescue
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WSDOT rescues over 250 cars trapped in Snoqualmie Pass

(Washington State Trooper Rick Johnson)

After getting buried under nearly two feet of fresh snow Monday, Snoqualmie’s Summit ski resort saw guests stranded overnight. To help them, the Washington State Department of Transportation commenced rescue efforts Tuesday afternoon.

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“We’re working on a bit of a rescue effort there, it’s a combination of the DOT and working with the fire department up there to get people safely off the mountain,” WSDOT’s Summer Derrey told KIRO Radio.

According to Derrey, the Summit was so full Monday night that some people even had to sleep outside in cars.

WSDOT scheduled a convoy for 3 p.m. Tuesday to escort people off the mountain. The convoy met along SR 906 off of exit 52 near the Summit, and headed down the eastbound lanes of the mountain toward North Bend. Plows and blowers were on-site to ensure cars could get through.

In total, WSDOT escorted upwards of 250 vehicles off the mountain to safety.

People at Snoqualmie were first warned on Sunday, when WSDOT advised people to “head out soon” to get ahead of heavy snow forecasts.

I-90 briefly closed for avalanche control work Monday morning, before reopening at 9:40 a.m. Around 5 p.m. Monday, I-90 closed in both directions near North Bend and Ellensburg, effectively trapping anyone who remained in the Snoqualmie Pass area.

In that period, WSDOT’s avalanche control supervisor measured 53 inches of snow in 48 hours.

The Summit’s ski slopes remained closed Tuesday, with crews working to clear the area for operation later this week. Stay tuned for updates on closures on Snoqualmie Pass here.

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