Lights & Sirens

Go behind the yellow tape with The News Tribune

NOTICE: Lights & Sirens has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Lights & Sirens.
Visit the new section.

From east to west, Washington getting pounded by weather

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Jan. 31, 2008 at 11:04 am |
January 31, 2008 11:04 am

Here’s the latest from the AP:


By JOHN K. WILEY

Associated Press Writer

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — High avalanche danger kept the state’s main east-west highway closed across the Cascade Range on Thursday even as windblown snow closed more roads and schools in Eastern Washington.

Washington State University in Pullman joined a long list of colleges, universities and school districts in Eastern Washington that suspended operations and canceled classes because of treacherous driving conditions.

Crews blasted and cleared snow at Snoqualmie Pass, but there was no estimate yet when Interstate 90 would reopen.

Washington Department of Transportation spokesman Travis Phelps said another foot of snow fell overnight and the temperature Thursday morning had warmed to 31 degrees, creating "ripe conditions" for avalanches.

The freeway was closed through the pass 50 miles east of Seattle on Wednesday afternoon after a slide partially covered two cars. No one was injured. The interstate had only been open for about five hours after being closed Tuesday morning between North Bend and Cle Elum, backing up hundreds of trucks.


The two other winter routes across the Cascades, Stevens and White passes, remained open Thursday with traction tires required on cars and chains on trucks.

Near Fairchild Air Force Base, a section of U.S. Highway 2 was closed by blowing and drifting snow, the Transportation Department said.

The National Weather Service issued a heavy snow warning for the west slope of the Cascades, North Cascades and the Olympic Mountains until Friday morning with up to 3 more feet of snow expected.

A new storm that passed through the region early Thursday dumped as much as 7 inches of new snow on Spokane, with outlying areas reporting as much as a foot.

Nearly 3,000 customers of Avista Utilities and Inland Power and Light were without power Thursday morning, spokesmen said.

In the southeast corner of the state, heavily traveled U.S. 195 was closed again Thursday morning from south of Pullman, home of WSU, to the Idaho border.

Schools in Spokane were closed for a fourth consecutive day Thursday and will not reopen this week, as icy roads made travel too hazardous. The snow days in Spokane, which has one of the largest public school systems in the state with 30,000 students, were the first since 1996.

Gov. Chris Gregoire was scheduled to tour the city on Thursday.

*
The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.