Intense storm brings wrecks, road closures
Crashes kept emergency responders busy and several highways closed as a winter storm quickly put 3 inches of snow on the ground in the Spokane area on Saturday.
There were 125 collisions reported in Spokane County between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office. Meanwhile, drivers who weren’t involved in crashes were nonetheless delayed on many roads, including those on the state highway to Mount Spokane State Park.
Both lanes of that highway, State Route 206, were closed because of downed trees in the afternoon and again at 7:30 in the evening. Crews anticipated the road would be reopened this morning.
U.S. Highway 195 between Spangle and Plaza, U.S. 195 from Colfax to the Idaho state line, and northbound U.S. Highway 395 were also closed for several hours because of accidents. Minor injuries were reported in the U.S. 395 crash, and a school bus was involved in one of the U.S. 195 accidents. No one on the bus was injured.
Fourth of July Pass on Interstate 90 in Idaho also was closed briefly because of accidents.
In Spokane, Mayor David Condon declared a Stage 1 snow condition Saturday afternoon.
The declaration means city snow removal crews will work around the clock to plow arterials, STA fixed bus routes and all streets in the city’s residential hill routes.
All cars parked on arterials and STA fixed bus routes were to be removed by 7 p.m. Saturday. Cars parked in residential hill areas were to be moved to the side of the street with odd address numbers by 1 a.m. this morning.
Under the city’s snow removal plan, officials can call a Stage 1 snow condition when there is at least 2 inches of snow on the ground and 4 or more in the forecast.