March 3, 2014 in City

Weekend snow closes passes, delays school

Forecasters predict warming temps this week
From staff and wire reports
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Close to a half a foot of snow that fell in Spokane over the weekend has slowed school buses and kept city crews busy overnight, but a warming trend is expected to melt flakes away.

Spokane Public School buses are running behind schedule due to snow, though classes are scheduled to begin at their regular times. Middle school routes will be delayed a half-hour or more, and elementary school routes could be delayed up to an hour, the district said.

Other school districts announced closures or delays Monday due to the weather. Kootenai Joint District, Reardan-Edwall School District, Moses Lake School District and St. Maries Joint School District in Idaho are all closed today. Classes at Steptoe School District, Liberty School District, Colfax School District, Nine Mile Falls School District and Newport School District will be delayed up to two hours due to the weather.

Snoqualmie Pass is closed this morning in both directions and chains are required on vehicles using Stevens Pass, with avalanche control work on Stevens expected to close the roadway at periods Monday. State Highway 20 on the west side of North Cascades National Park was closed at Newhalem due to a snow slide.

Spokane Police reported several collisions slowing the morning commute in places throughout town. Officer Teresa Fuller reported a two-car crash on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 at the Medical Lake exit and an earlier Airway Heights crash near Northern Quest Casino.

Plows were working the Spokane streets overnight, the city reported, with dozens of deicing vehicles and plows out working the streets Monday morning. The city has declared a Stage One snow event, meaning motorists should move their cars onto the odd side of the street in residential hilly areas so that plows can move through more quickly.

Forecasters predict a wintry mix throughout the day Monday, with freezing rain and sleet changing over to rain in the afternoon as temperatures breach the freezing mark. Warmer air will move into the area as the week progresses, bringing more rain and daytime temperatures in the 50s by Thursday.

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