Snoqualmie, Blewett passes reopen; White, Stevens passes remain closed

Jan 10, 2022, 5:37 AM | Updated: Jan 11, 2022, 6:20 am

pass, snow plow...

Plows work to clear the mountain passes in Washington. (Photo courtesy of WSDOT/Twitter)

(Photo courtesy of WSDOT/Twitter)

After being closed for almost four days due to extreme avalanche danger and record-breaking snowfall, Snoqualmie and Blewett passes reopened at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Wet weather, potholes in Washington make grocery deliveries challenging

White Pass reopened at 3 p.m. Monday, but closed again at 5:30 p.m. due to a rockslide and unstable slopes west of the summit. The Washington State Department of Transportation said Monday that there is still “a significant amount of work to be done” at Stevens Pass, which is likely to stay closed until “at least Wednesday.” That’s due to “some of the largest snow slides on Stevens in recent memory.”

Snoqualmie Pass has started by prioritizing freight traffic and asks recreational and general traffic to delay their trips if possible. There are just two narrow lanes open with a 45 mile per hour speed limit in place, and traction tires are advised.

“This is vital to understand: the opening is to get freight moving, not for general travel,” notes a Twitter post Sunday from WSDOT.

Many of the shoulders, exit ramps, and chain up areas are still impassable, and access to restroom facilities will be limited. For that reason, drivers should be prepared to cross the pass without stopping as there are no safe places to stop, and many communities in the area are also buried in snow.

Crews used plows, blowers, and graders to clear snow and make sure hillsides are stable from potential avalanches. They’ve had to clear catch basins so that there’s room for melting snow and rain, and knock snow from overhead signs.

WSDOT says they brought in a tow plow from Spokane to help make quicker work. The area has received 292 inches of snow this season, WSDOT reports, as compared to a 5-year average of 154 inches (to date).

I-90 between North Bend and Ellensburg is also back open after being closed since Wednesday night due to hazardous weather conditions and avalanche danger.

At Blewett Pass, which also reopened Sunday, crews were successful with avalanche work, using a blower and plows to clear US 97. Crews from Davenport sent a blower to help clear snow.

Blewett Pass had been closed in both directions from milepost 149.7, at the junction with SR 970 and about 10 miles east of Cle Elum to milepost 178, 14 miles north of the summit.

Record-shattering rain drenches Western Washington to close out week

WSDOT says Jan. 7-10, 2009, was the last time four mountain passes have been closed at the same time. Stevens Pass was closed for two days, White and Snoqualmie for four days, and Blewett for two days.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Seattle detectives are looking for a vehicle involved in a deadly hit-and-run that happened ...

Julia Dallas

Seattle detectives looking for vehicle involved in deadly hit-and-run

Seattle detectives are looking for a vehicle involved in a deadly hit-and-run that happened in the Denny Triangle neighborhood Friday.

6 hours ago

Image:A portrait of Officer Vancouver Police Department officer Donald Sahota is displayed as he is...

Steve Coogan

Man convicted of murder in death of Vancouver police officer shot by deputy

A Yakima man was found guilty of murder for his role in the death of a Vancouver police officer who was shot by a sheriff's deputy in error.

8 hours ago

Image:A Sultan man has filed a lawsuit after two Snohomish County deputies shot him multiple times ...

Louie Tran, KIRO 7 News

Sultan man sues two Snohomish County deputies after they shot him, dog multiple times

Sultan man sues two Snohomish County deputies after they shot him, dog multiple times

8 hours ago

Image: Hundreds gather at Seattle's Wing Luke Museum to ring in the Lunar New Year in 2023....

Steve Coogan

Wing Luke Museum closes after employees walk out in protest of ‘Hate’ exhibit

About two dozen employees of Seattle's Wing Luke Museum staged a walkout Wednesday to protest an exhibit that was set to begin.

8 hours ago

Image: In this photo provided by Iditarod rookie musher Bridgett Watkins, a bull moose stands betwe...

Steve Coogan

A moose killed a man in Alaska. Could it happen in Washington?

A 70-year-old man who was attempting to take photos of two newborn moose calves was killed by their mother, authorities said.

11 hours ago

Image: Trooper Barry Marcus has been with the Washington State Patrol since 1992....

Steve Coogan

WSP trooper ‘saved untold lives, perhaps yours’ as he made 4,000th DUI arrest

Trooper Barry Marcus, a Spokane-based Washington State Patrol veteran, made the notable DUI arrest April 30, the agency reported Friday.

14 hours ago

Snoqualmie, Blewett passes reopen; White, Stevens passes remain closed