November 24, 1996 in Nation/World

Snow, Icy Rain To Hit Area Motorists Are Warned To Proceed With Caution

Ward Sanderson The Associated Press Contributed To Staff writer
 

As much as 3 inches of snow and freezing rain could make driving hairy and scary in parts of the Inland Northwest.

“If they use caution and don’t go too fast,” drivers will be all right, said Dave Marchant of the Idaho Transportation Department. But if drivers take turns like James Bond in his Z3, the road can feel like an oil slick.

The National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories for Eastern Washington and North Idaho late Saturday, warning of precipitation and freezing weather through this morning.

Snow or freezing rain should decrease by this afternoon. Winds should be light today, but there is a chance of mountain snow. Highs today will be in the mid-30s with lows in the mid-20s.

As much as 10 inches of snow was expected by this morning in the Olympics and Cascades.

Whatcom County faced a winter weather advisory through Saturday night.

Thanks to all the snow, the Snoqualmie Pass ski operation opened Friday - 24 days earlier than last year. Downhill skiing at White Pass and Crystal Mountain also started Friday. Stevens Pass and Mount Baker opened earlier in the week.

On Monday, partly cloudy skies are expected throughout the region. Spokane temperatures should be in the mid-30s. North Idaho should be in the upper 20s, with a slight chance of precipitation in Shoshone County.

State police in Washington and Idaho reported no major accidents Saturday. Interstate 90 in Washington was bare and wet, with some patches of snow and ice.

In North Idaho, roads were slicker. “Most of them are pretty icy,” Marchant said. “We’ve still got some broken snow floors and icy spots.”

State Highway 97 in Idaho is closed from Interstate 90 to Harrison to all but residents of the area.

“All along 97 there are trees,” Marchant said. Crews have been clearing out fallen foliage as soon as they find it.

Authorities also worry that cars may snag low-hanging power lines, knocking out more power. “We have enough problems with power,” Marchant said.

Anyone who sees downed power lines or trees blocking a road should report them to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department or to the Idaho State Police.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: ROAD INFO For the phone numbers of information about road conditions in the region, please see page A2.

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Ward Sanderson Staff writer The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This sidebar appeared with the story: ROAD INFO For the phone numbers of information about road conditions in the region, please see page A2.

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Ward Sanderson Staff writer The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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