March 1, 2011 in City

Spin-outs, avalanche close pass

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Avalanche danger, heavy snowfall and spun-out vehicles prompted transportation officials to close Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass for hours Monday as a winter storm slammed the Washington Cascades.

Transportation officials closed the pass at about 11:30 a.m. Monday due to 8 inches of snow that had fallen since 6 a.m., plus poor visibility and spinouts. Just before noon, a natural avalanche covered all three westbound lanes. The closure extended about 70 miles from North Bend to Ellensburg.

Eastbound lanes reopened at about 5:45 p.m. Monday after crews cleared disabled vehicles and completed avalanche control work. Westbound lanes followed by 8 p.m.

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