Hundreds of drivers stranded on Snoqualmie Pass overnight, led to safety in convoy

Hundreds of drivers stranded on Snoqualmie Pass overnight, led to safety in convoy

Recent winter storms that have already brought more than a foot and a half of snow to the Inland Northwest are hitting the entire state of Washington.

More than 4.5 feet of snow have fallen on Snoqualmie Pass in just the last few days. The pass has been closed since Monday night and, as of early Wednesday, is still shut down from Ellensburg to North Bend.

More than 250 cars and semis became stranded when the Department of Transportation shut down the pass Monday. It was closed when heavy snow caused several crashes and spinouts, inlcuding one that killed the driver of a semi truck.

The majority of those who couldn’t make it down the pass before it closed were finally led to safety Tuesday afternoon when Washington State Patrol troopers organized a convoy down to North Bend.

In the almost 24 hours they were stranded, some found room in a hotel on the summit, but when that quickly booked up others were forced to sleep in their cars.

Rex Eddings was one of them. He was driving home from skiing when the pass was shut down. Eddings had to stay in his car overnight, eating only muffins he had brought with him, and doing everything he could to stay warm.

“You gotta deal with it, never give up. Just keep moving,” Eddings said. “Heck, I lost a few pounds, but hey, I’m gaining it back now!”

The convoy that led Eddings and hundreds of other to safety Tuesday used State Route 906, which is a road that runs along I-90. Cars and trucks were escorted by WSP troopers and WSDOT crews down the eastbound lanes to avoid the avalanche danger in the westbound lanes.

WSP Trooper Rick Johnson tweeted the following video from the convoy:

Here’s a look at why the pass had to close:

Hundreds of drivers stranded on Snoqualmie Pass overnight, led to safety in convoy

These pictures were tweeted by WSDOT and a WSP trooper Tuesday. Officials said 53 inches of snow had falled in just the last two days.

Wednesday morning, WSDOT announced the westbound lanes of Snoqualmie Pass will remain closed all day becuase of avalanche danger.

At 4:00 p.m., eastbound traffic will be metered at milepost 34, near North Bend. Traffic will be released in groups of several hundred vehicles with reduced speeds and 15 minutes of separation between groups.

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