White-knuckle drive across Washington's snowy mountains


by KING 5 News


Posted on March 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:20 AM

SEATTLE -- Heavy snow was falling in the mountains and parts of Western Washington Monday while a strong wind that knocked out power earlier in the day was dying down.

Avalance control closures intermittently closed Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass and Highway 2 across Stevens Pass all day, causing big backups of stopped semis, cars and trucks.

WSDOT's Mountain Passes page - updates on closures, cameras, etc.

Snow was also reported in Hood Canal, the Kitsap Peninsula and as far west as the ocean beaches. Mason County schools canceled all after school activities due to snow there. A viewer posted the following picture from Seabeck, Washington on KING 5's Your News page.

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Traction tires were advised in both directions at Snoqualmie Pass. An avalanche warning is in effect above 4,000 feet for the Olympics and the Cascades north of Stevens Pass. Get Futurecast

KING 5 Meteorologist Jim Guy said heavy snow will occur over the mountains Monday afternoon as the front moves through. There could be 8 to 18-inches of new snow at the ski areas by Tuesday morning.

Snow levels could also drop overnight to 500 feet, meaning snow for the inland hills.

Strong winds blew trees and knocking down power lines early Monday. PSE crews were working to restore power to about 7,000 customers without power in parts of Pierce and Thurston counties. The winds peaked in most locations by noon and were expected to die down, but breezy conditions were expected until later in the evening.