Topic: falling trees
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December 24, 2012 at 5:16 PM
Highway 2 is still closed from Stevens Pass to Leavenworth. Traffic can still reach the summit from the west, but drivers trying to go east of that will have to use alternate routes such as US 97 Blewett Pass to I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Traction tires are still advised for open areas of the highway, which are still expected to be icy.
Dozens of snow-laden trees are still leaning over the highway and a Christmas Day snowstorm is expected to weigh even more trees down with as much as eight more inches of snow, according to WSDOT. Downed trees have killed two people and injured nine since Friday, in a pair of crashes about 15 miles east of the pass.
“At least four more large trees crashed to the roadway overnight, and there is no way to estimate a reopening time,” said WSDOT regional administrator Dan Sarles in a statement. “Given what has happened at the pass, this is the right decision to make for the safety of drivers and our workers.”
If the hazardous tree conditions persist, WSDOT says they’ll try using a helicopter to blow snow from the trees on Wednesday.
Conditions at Snoqualmie Pass are good today. Crews will be doing their best to keep Snoqualmie Pass clear while as much as 10 inches of snow falls there Christmas Day.
To check for updates on mountain pass conditions, check WSDOT’s website.
December 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM
[This post has been updated. See the full story here at seattletimes.com.]
Highway 2 remained closed Sunday from the summit of Stevens Pass to Leavenworth, in both directions out of concern that more snow-laden trees could topple onto cars. Travelers were being advised to use Interstate 90 across Snoqualmie Pass or Highway 97 across Blewett Pass.
On Friday, a Bothell couple was killed and family members injured, and on Saturday, five more people were injured, by collisions with fallen trees.
The highway was closed Saturday night about an hour after an Audi driven by Binay Pathak, 37, of Seattle, struck a downed tree. Pathak, along with two others — a 25-year-old woman, and a boy, 13 — were taken to Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth, while two other females, ages 30 and 16, were taken to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, the State Patrol said in a news release. Troopers said one person was seriously injured in that accident — 22 miles west of Leavenworth —while four had relatively minor injuries.
About 1:20 p.m. Friday, a tree crashed onto an SUV about 21 miles west of Leavenworth. Timothy Owen, 58, and his wife, Janine Reed, 56, both of Bothell, died at the scene. The couple’s adult children and a son-in-law, all in their 20s, were hurt. Three are in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center as of Sunday night, while another sustained minor injuries.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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