Avalanche risk closes Snoqualmie Pass

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

Both westbound and eastbound lanes reopened by 8 p.m. Monday. Transportation officials closed the pass at mid-morning due to eight 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 about 5:45 p.m., westbound lanes by 8 p.m.

Farther south, transportation officials reported stalled tractor-trailer rigs blocking lanes of U.S. Highway 12 Monday evening in the White Pass area east of Packwood.