Drivers should be prepared with chains if traveling through Snoqualmie Pass this weekend
YAKIMA, Wash.-- Dangerous driving conditions are to blame for today's partial closures of Snoqualmie Pass.
“We had a big blast of weather over Snoqualmie Pass, so our crews have done a really good job of keeping up with the weather. We have full crews working 24/7 to keep the roads plowed,” said Summer Derrey with the Department of Transportation.
She says drivers need to be patient, especially with people traveling for Christmas in the next few days.
“What we do need is for drivers to slow down. One of the main reasons we have wrecks is due to spinouts and collisions, so just taking a little extra time to get there, slowing down, and staying in the right lane and chaining up when required is a huge help,” said Derrey.
She says conditions can change at a moment's notice, so it’s important to check the forecast and the status of the pass before you head out. Derrey says it’s crucial that drivers be ready for the unexpected.
“When traveling over a mountain pass, drivers need to be prepared potentially for a long term event. You know, what if you’re traveling over and the pass closes? So, think ahead. What if you need to put chains on? Have chains. Know how to put them on before you travel over the pass,” said Derrey.
If driving through the pass is out of the question, and your plan is to fly for the holiday, the Yakima Air Terminal suggests giving yourself more time to get through the airport and to be flexible.
“Flights should be scheduled on time, but it’s always recommended for the passengers to show up at least an hour to an hour-and-a-half prior to departure, to ensure that they can check their luggage, park their car, traverse through screening, and wait for the aircraft to arrive and depart,” she said.
As for last minute advice if traveling by car?
“Slow down. That can absolutely save your life,” said Derrey.
For up-to-date information on pass conditions, you can download the WSDOT app to your Apple or Android device. And if you’re catching a flight out of Yakima, be sure to click here for flight updates and details.