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Mountain snow, lowland rain brings trouble to highways

The hill on eastbound I-90. (WSDOT - Snoqualmie Pass on Twitter)

Heavy snow in the mountains caused big problems for drivers across both passes on Wednesday.

Eastbound Snoqualmie Pass was closed for hours after multiple spinouts. Chains and traction requirements are still in effect on both highways, so the Washington State Department of Transportation recommends you check first if you’re headed across a pass.

Trooper Rick Johnson said as of 2 p.m., troopers had responded to 61 calls for service near Snoqualmie Pass alone. No injuries were reported. The majority of those were spinouts.

Troopers said they were also working on rolling slowdowns so that WSDOT could safely run snow removal operations.

Washington mountain pass webcams

As of about noon on Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported 12-hour precipitation totals as follows: Mount Baker: 1.03″, Stevens Pass: 0.78″, Snoqualmie Pass: 1.26″, White Pass: 0.61″, and Paradise on Mount Rainier: 1.12″.

In the lowlands, heavy rain has also impacted traffic on area highways. A semi truck jackknifed on I-5 in Olympia near US 101 on Wednesday morning. WSDOT also reported multiple collisions on I-5, SR 99, SR 523, I-405, and US 2.

Forecasters say the rain and snow will stick around through Wednesday night. The National Weather Service reported thunderstorms moving onshore Wednesday afternoon, which included reports of a couple lightning strikes.

Showers may linger on Thursday into Friday morning, but drier conditions mean rivers will recede.

SDOT tweaks Seattle plow routes, prepares for snow

On Friday night, the heavy rain in the lowlands and snow in the mountains return. Forecasters say there is also a potential for more gusty wind across the region, however details are still uncertain.

 

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