Archive for Saturday, November 25, 2006

Deep mountain snow forces highway closing

November 25, 2006

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— A series of snowstorms that blanketed the Cascade Range lightened Friday, drawing skiers to the slopes earlier than usual and prompting the state to briefly close a mountain highway east of Seattle because of avalanche concerns.

Depending on the location, anywhere from 1 to 2 feet of snow had fallen from early Thursday through Friday afternoon in the Cascades, said Gary Schneider, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service's Seattle office.

The storms brought deeper November snow than ski areas have seen in years. Officials at Mount Baker ski area in northwest Washington said Friday it had received 70 inches in four days, boosting its base depth to 94 inches.

There was so much snow Friday that state transportation officials briefly closed a section of Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass for avalanche control work early in the day.

Two men in a pickup died on I-90 when a tree fell onto the highway and hit the truck about 12 miles east of the Snoqualmie Pass summit.

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