Update | WA Passes Still Buried in Snow

Published 1/9/2022 1720 PT

WASHINGTON STATE

BLEWETT PASS

OPENED on 1/9/2022 at 1700 hours – Freight traffic will be Priority

Blewett Pass was reopened on Sunday at 1700 hours, with drivers required to reduce their speeds down to the minimum of 45-mph. Traction tires are advised. Lanes and shoulders are narrow.

WSDOT stated freight was the priority to get moving while encouraging all other recreational vehicles and general traffic should continue to delay their traveling.

SNOQUALMIE PASS

OPENED on 1/9/2022 at 1700 hours – Freight traffic will be Priority

After the pass has been closed for almost four days, the WSDOT reopened the roadway at 1700 hours today, which is great news for the freight operators. However, speeds have been reduced down to 45-mph with traction tires advised.

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Snoqualmie Pass

The traveling public is strongly encouraged to DELAY their travels until roads are more cleared. Officials say they are allowing freight/cargo trucks as a priority to help get the economy moving again.

WSDOT officials are asking drivers to sloooooow down and try not to be INDY 500 drivers because due to narrow roadways and shoulders, you and everyone else is going to be stuck up there until help can reach you during your time of need.

Just imagine yourself being stuck inside the 99 Tunnel in Seattle, where the lanes are narrow and the shoulders are very narrow. Yikes!

STEVENS PASS

CLOSED until Wednesday

The WSDOT updated the reopening schedules for all four passes, but this one still remains closed until Wednesday.

There are still mounds of snow, they are working to clear while continuing to prepare to work around the clock another day.

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Credit: Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass began to have challenges as early as January 6th, when snow began to fall, forcing the closure of Highway 2. As of this afternoon, the pass is still suffering from continued roadway closures and power outages, therefore, closing the ski area until at least Tuesday, January 11, 2022.

WHITE PASS

CLOSED until Monday Afternoon

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White Pass snow clearing operations

Officials state White Pass is due to reopen late Monday afternoon as crews continue to clear heavy and deep snow from roadways.

Photo Credits | All photos in this post are not ours and we do not lay claim to them. Photo Credits: WSDOT, WSDOT-Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, and Blewett Pass, unless otherwise noted.

(c) 2022 NW Fire Blog

Update | WA Passes Still Buried in Snow

Published 1/9/2022 1400 hours PT

WASHINGTON STATE — As of Sunday early afternoon, Washington mountain passes were still closed even after WSDOT workers have been working around the clock to clear many feet of snow. Here is an update of the current situation on our roadways around the State.

BLEWETT PASS

WSDOT released a statement around 1315 hours PT on Sunday afternoon, that Blewett Pass is slated to be reopened later this afternoon but no ETA was given.

This is great news for freight companies and travelers!

SNOQUALIMIE PASS

A mountain pass road with two lanes has a large snow plow truck working underneath a large overhead sign that is covered in snow. On each side of the road are huge amounts of snow and there are tons of snow-covered tall trees in the distance.
Snoqualmie Pass

As of 1255 hours PT, the WSDOT states their main goal today is to get the pass reopened but they are still working to clear massive amounts of deep snow from sides of the freeway and roadways. They don’t have ETA as to when that will occur and they are asking drivers not to wait by gates for another update

STEVENS PASS

A avalanche crew member stands in the cleared section near a stabilized snow slide for size reference on US 2 Stevens Pass.
Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass WSDOT workers continue to try to clear out the deep snow that remains on roadways and are working through several additional challenges as well. In addition to trying to plow off snow, they are working to resolve their power and cell phone outages a slab of four inches of ice on top of cleared lanes.

They are bringing in extra equipment to knock down the slides before they can start clearing off the rest of the snow. They have been working tirelessly for the last several days.

An update by Officials says Stevens Pass and nearby Tumwater Canyon will likely not reopen before Wednesday of this week. Ice is about four inches thick on Stevens Pass with snow slides 60-70 feet high!

WHITE PASS

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White Pass snow clearing operations

Officials state White Pass is due to reopen late Monday afternoon as crews continue to clear heavy and deep snow from roadways.

Photo Credits | All photos in this post are not ours and we do not lay claim to them. Photo Credits: WSDOT, WSDOT-Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, and Blewett Pass.

(c) 2022 NW Fire Blog

WA Passes Still Struggle With Snow

Published 1/8/2022 1550 PT

WASHINGTON STATE — Mountain Passes around the State are still struggling with too much of a good thing and crews are working tirelessly to clear all the feet of snow. Here is a recap of what has been happening in the last 24 hours.

BLEWETT PASS

Avalanche Specialists and crews mitigated hazards on the pass recently, when they successfully performed avalanche control operations by using artillery or explosives to trigger a snow slide.

According to their website, Avalanche Explosive Experts used various delivery methods to reach the intended target area(s) to place explosives, which some e of these techniques used would include placing by hand, using cable-pully bomb trams, or with surplus military weapons.

The WSDOT state they also use passive control methods to manage snow slides to include elevated roadways so avalanches pass under them and into basins to halt the avalanche before snow reaches the highway. Additionally, diversion dams and snow berms to keep the snow off the highway are also used as prevention methods.

Another plow from the Davenport area along with crews has also been dispatched to this pass to assist with snow clearing operations. Officials are hoping this Pass will reopen on Sunday but won’t have a clear definitive answer until they conduct a reassessment late Sunday morning.

SNOQUALMIE PASS

Snoqualmie Pass.

WSDOT maintenance crews are currently using plows, blowers, and graders to clear snow to ensure hillsides are safe and stable from avalanche hazards. Additionally, they are busy clearing catch basins to enable melting snow and rain to drain properly.

Fact | As of January 7th, the Pass had received 12 inches of snowfall with a total season amount of 286 inches, which has surpassed its 5-year season average to date at 148.2 inches!

WSDOT officials say their Spokane shop’s tow plow, the Plowie McPlow Plow has been temporarily moved to this pass to assist with plow operations.

Plowie McPlow Plow crews from Spokane and Davenport.

Fact | US 2 Tumwater Canyon, east of the Pass impacts Stevens from opening has had 208 snow slides in the Canyon, which is about 25 slides per mile!

The pass is hopefully on schedule and to be reopened on Sunday but officials won’t know until late morning when they do a reassessment of current conditions.

Officials due to the extremely hazardous conditions, Stevens Pass are saying this stretch of roadway is most likely not due to reopen until Tuesday of next week. Crews continue to work and reassess conditions often.

Snoqualmie Pass is located in both King County and Kittitas County and is a mountain pass, in which I-90 through the Cascade Range, and its summit is at the elevation of 3,015 feet. The area is said to have a population of 366 but with it being closed, it could have a higher occupation due to stranged motorists, truckers, and skiers, alike.

STEVENS PASS

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Stevens Pass.

Stevens Pass has had several snow slides with new depths upwardly to 30-35 feet in some places.

Fact | The WSDOT stated some blower cuts were 16 feet deep!

One lane has been opened to allow crews to access avalanche control and clearing of snow. Due to high stacks of snow, Officials are looking at possibly using a helicopter on Monday to help mitigate hazards that have built up.

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Blowering cutting through all that white stuff.

Power is currently out (as of 1500 hours) and hard-working crews worked their magic to dig out one of their generators.

Fact | Stevens Pass was named after John Frank Stevens, the first non-indigenous person to discover the area.

Due to special permission and approval by safety officials, a Chelan County PUD worker was allowed in the impact to start making repairs but crew members are said to be communicating by radio for a while. This is one way of dealing with the snow incidents all over the state and they are well-prepared.

Stevens Pass is a mountain pass that carries motorists on Highway 2 through the Cascade Mountains at the border of King and Chelan Counties. The max elevation is 5,845 feet.

A WSDOT crew member shovels out the radio generator shed from under feet of snow.
Co. PUD worker begins repairs on power outage on Stevens Pass.

WHITE PASS

Another Pass is closed not from avalanche threats but due to heavy loads of snow and debris, as well as trees, rocks, and other debris which has fallen onto the roadway.

Fact | White Pass is about 12 miles southeast of Mt. Rainier National Park at the summit, a national scenic byway.

Crews have been busy trying to clear roadways as quickly as possible but Officials say even though an excavator has been brought in to assist, this Pass is due to not be opened until Monday of next week. Another Sunday update will be released after an assessment has been completed.

View of a snow slide blocking SR 971 on the south lake shore of Lake Chelan.

At this time of this update released, crews were able to gain access to a now stabilized roadway on SR971 near Chelan which was considered unstable and has 10-plus feet of now. With so much snow, an ETA to reopen this road to drivers is unknown.

White Pass is also known a the Dead Horse Trail with an elevation of 4,500 feet, is a mountain pass in the Cascade Range of Washington, southeast of Mount Rainier and north of Goat Rocks. The Pass is on Highway 12 which if you head over the pass, will connect you with Yakima County on the east side with Lewis County. The Pass is also home to the White Pass Ski Area, which is located approximately 53 miles west of Yakima and 54 miles east of Morton.

Photo Credits | All photos in this post are not ours and we do not lay claim to them. Photo Credits: WSDOT, WSDOT-Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, and Blewett Pass.

(c) 2022 NW Fire Blog

Time To #PrepareNOW

WASHINGTON STATE — It’s that time again, where we seem to be seeing a lot of rain down in the lowlands and snow on our mountaintops! Are you ready for any type of disaster (flooding, fire, snow, landslides, etc.)? Here are some helpful resources to assist you in getting prepared for any type of emergency situation.

EMERGENCY ALERTS

Traffic Alerts

Twitter Page

FLOODING

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

WINTER DRIVING

WINDS

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RESOURCES

Power Outages

@PSETalk: pse.com/outagemap | PSE

@SEACityLight; seattle.gov/city-light/outages | Seattle City Light

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(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog — 11/14/2021 — 2345 PT

Fire Damages Factoria Structure

UPDATE – 0911 hours PST

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON | A fire broke out at an apartment complex located in the 12800 block of SE 40th in the Factoria area of Bellevue, Washington early Christmas morning.   Access into the fire scene was difficult due to snow and ice.  The fire occurred in between 0400 – 0430 hours PST.

(Written permission has been granted to republish this feed.  Credit:  Snoco_Radio (@Stringing Photog)

A cause is unknown at the time of this post.

Bellevue Fire stated about 5-6 patients were evaluated with 4 being transported to nearby hospital(s).  Many were injured in the fall, when they were jumping out of windows.

Six units were heavily damaged and not inhabitable.

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog

 

Fire Damages Factoria Structure

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON | A fire broke out at an apartment complex located in the 12800 block of SE 40th in the Factoria area of Bellevue, Washington early Christmas morning.   Some residents jumping out of windows as the fierce fire consumed parts of the structure were reported on this snowy morning in the wee hours on Monday (around 0400-0430 hours PST).

A cause is unknown at the time of this post.

Four patients were transported to area hospitals related to evacuating from the building. No word on their conditions are known at this time.

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog

 

WINTER STORM JONAS AKA BLIZZARD 2016 | NEW YORK | UPDATE 1

BREAKING ALL-TIME HISTORICAL RECORDS

A severe Winter storm has slammed into parts of the Mid-Atlantic and  Eastern parts of our Nation.  We will be providing Updates for each State as there is simply too much information to combine all into one blog post.

STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED

On Saturday at 1430 EST, NY State Governor Cuomo issued a State of Emergency which has impacted many lives and saving thousands, if not millions.  Here’s what we know so far.

COUNTIES AFFECTED:  Bronx, Kings, Nassau, Suffolk, New York, Queens, Orange, Putnam, Richmond, Rockland and Westchester.

BANS IN EFFECT

As of 1430 EST, the Governor issued a ROAD TRAVEL BANS.

ROAD TRAVEL BANS | This means that no one is to travel on any of the following roadways listed below or as a driver, you will face the consequences of being charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $300.  Additional fines can also apply.

“Safety is our number one priority – and right now, it is not safe for the general public to travel,” said Governor Cuomo. “Closing the roads and exterior rail roads and subways is the right thing to do in this situation, because it helps emergency personnel do their jobs and respond to the storm as aggressively as possible. We are doing everything necessary to keep people safe, and I encourage all New Yorkers to wait out the storm indoors.”

– Governor Cuomo

NYC:  Local and State roads are off-limits.

LONG ISLAND:  State roadways, Long Island Expressway and Northern State Parkway have been close.

MANHATTAN:  Law Enforcement is manning all road blocks during the State of Emergency Road Travel ban.  If you are found to be on the roadway during this ban, you will face a misdemeanor charge with up to $300 in fines. Additional fines can be added for additional violations.  The Executive Order has been signed by the Governor.

PORT AUTHORITY:  All Tran-Hudson Crossings

WEATHER 

According to the Governor’s Office, New  York City is expected to see a snow accumulation of around 24-30″ and Long Island is expected to receive between 18-24″ of snow before Sunday.  Heavy winds are expected to hit between 30-40 mph with wind gusts up to 55 mph. Visibility is likely to be like blizzard to whiteout conditions.

Power outages are expected due to the heavy amounts of snow predicted to continue in already hard-hit areas.

INFRASTRUCTURE

UTILITIES

We have provided you with a list of Utilities and who to contact in your area.

  • 800-527-2714-Central Hudson
  • 800-752-6633-Con Edison
  • 718-643-4050-National Grid – Metro
  • 800-930-5003-National Grid – LI
  • 800-365-3234-National Fuel Gas
  • 800-572-1111-NY State Electric & Gas
  • 877-434-4100-Orange & Rockland
  • 800-490-0075- PSEG Long Island
  • 800-743-2110-RG&E

HISTORICAL BLIZZARDS ON RECORD

THE GREAT BLIZZARD OF 1888

Recorded as one of the worst blizzards on record occurred on March 11th through the 14th when an unmildly winter appeared out of normal, suddenly changed over to heavy rain followed by snow.  The Great Blizzard of 1888 was said to be one of the area’s worst storms on record.

“Blizzard 1888 01”. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blizzard_1888_01.jpg#/media/File:Blizzard_1888_01.jpg

The storm began on March 12th after midnight as heavy rain began to fall.  With temps dropped, snow immediately began dumping on to NJ, NY, MA, RI and CT.  The storm continued for one-and-a-half days affecting the Nor’Easter States.

10 PM March 12 surface analysis of Great Blizzard of 1888.png

“10 PM March 12 surface analysis of Great Blizzard of 1888” by Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons. Transfer was stated to be made by User:bagster.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:10_PM_March_12_surface_analysis_of_Great_Blizzard_of_1888.png#/media/File:10_PM_March_12_surface_analysis_of_Great_Blizzard_of_1888.png

Significant events occurred during this storm deeming it one of the most severe blizzards in recorded history.  Here are some of those highlights:

  • The storm is said to have dropped 20″ – 30″ of snow on Northern VT.
  • Snowdrifts reached 30-40′ high seen covering rooftops of homes from NY to NE.
  • 58″ snow fell in Saratoga Springs, NY
  • 48″ snow fell in Albany, NY
  • New Haven, CT received 45″
  • New York City felt the pain of 22″
  • Reports of 80 mph wind gusts but officially records indicate 40 mph with 54 mph wind gusts as being “official” in New York City
  • Sustained winds had an average of 45 mph that produced 50′ snowdrifts

Railroads shut down and residents were forced to shelter-in-place for up to a week.

The average temps were with a minimum of 6-degrees and a daytime high of only 8-degrees on March 13, 1888.  It was the recorded as the coolest day on any record for the month of March.

This storm caused $25M [equals to $860M in our current day [2016]] and had a record of 400 deaths across Eastern U.S. and Eastern parts of Canada.

NORTH BLIZZARD OF 2006

Not much was found between the earlier years and 2006.  What we do know is this extratropical and winter storm formed on Feb 11, 2006 touching the lives of those in the Mid Atlantic States and including Northern VA and ME. It was deemed to be a Cat 2.

The following day on Feb 12, 2006, it found its way to impacting major Cities such as Baltimore to Boston with 26.9″ accumulations in snow coverage to NYC.  This was the most recorded since 1869, when the recordkeeping started.  States such as VA, MD, DC, PA, NY, NJ, DE and NE  were affected.  Areas suffered $5M [2006 USD] in damages.

DEC 2010 BLIZZARD

This Dec major Nor’Easter and historic blizzard occurred on Dec 5 through the 29th of 2010 that affected large parts of Norfolk, Philly, NYC, Hartford, Providence and Boston with receiving up to 12-32″ in most areas.  Impacted was NC, NYC, NJ, CT, ME, MA and Atlantic Canada and had in $80M in damages [2010 USD].

JAN 27 – 27, 2011 N AMERICAN BLIZZARD

This storm occurred in N’easter US and parts of Canada two weeks after a previous major Blizzard and struck the same affected areas already touched in earlier Jan.

JAN 31 – FEB 2, 2011 AMERICAN WINTER STORM aka Ground Hog Blizzard

This extratropical cyclone Blizzard, Ice Storm, Winter Storm and named tornado outbreak touched Central US< NE and the Great Lakes that dropped 27″ of snow on Antioch, IL.  The storm incident caused $1.8B in damages and led to 36 deaths.

FEB 5-6, 2010 BLIZZARD aka Snowmageddon

The February 5-6, 2010 Blizzard or also known as “Snowmageddon” Category 3 [Major] extratropical cyclone, blizzard and winter storm caused 41 deaths. Te storm had 978MB that dropped 38.3″ of snow accumulations on Elkridge, MA.  Impacted areas were Midwest and the East Coast from IL to NC to NY.  Affects from this storm were felt by those North and West of Northern Mexico, CA and Southerner, Mid Western, Southwestern and most notably in the Mi Atlantic States.  Severe weather took place in NM, VA, PA, MD.  Landslides and  Flooding occurred in Mexico.  Widespread of snow accumulation of 20-35″ in Southern PA and Eastern States. No estimated cost of damages were known.

FEB 9-10, 2010 BLIZZARD

Three days later, the area experienced the effects of yet another extratropical and winder storms that would form on Feb 7th with a 969MB causing three deaths and dissipating on Feb 11th.  It wasn’t yet soon enough as it largely impacted the Midwestern U.S., Mid Atlantic and the Northeast from States, such as IL to VA, VT, WA DC, New York City [NYC], Baltimore to New Jersey.

FEB 25-27, 2010 BLIZZARD

As you can see, there seems to be a pattern for the people living in these highlighted States with Blizzards not being so uncommon these days.  This Blizzard was just like all the others as an extratropical, winter storm and blizzard.  It formed on Feb 24 and dissipated on the 27.  It was 972MB and dumped up to a high snow accumulation of 53″ in Potter Hollow, NY.  It impact touched the lives of those in CT, DE, ME, MA, MD, NH, NJ, PA, RI, WV and Canada, our next-door neighbor.

MARCH 12 – 18, 2010 BLIZZARD

Not long after the previous storm, another one was ready in its wings to yet once again impact lives of those in CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI and VT.  The extratropical cyclone was also a winter storm.  It had 993 MB.

JAN 2015 aka Winter Storm Juno [Unofficially Named]

This Winter Storm as some named “Winter Storm Juno” dumped 36″ of snow on MA and had highest wind gusts up to 95 mph.  The storm formed on Jan 11 and ended on Jan 31, 2015.  The extratropical cyclone had 970 mb with wind speeds of 75 mph.  It impacted CT, NJ, MA, RI and NY.

Sources:  Wikipedia, Twitter, NY State Gov Cuomo

(c) The #NWFireBlog