SEATTLE (AP) – The latest storm to hit the Pacific Northwest brought flood warnings, the closure of a major mountain pass, school closings and icy roads Thursday.
Interstate 90 over the Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state’s Cascade Mountains was closed Thursday due to high avalanche danger, zero visibility and drift-blowing snow. Stevens Pass on US 2 was also closed due to heavy snowfall. Snow and ice closed Blewett Pass on US 97.
Heavy rains and snowmelt raised concerns about flooding in western Washington and Oregon as the last atmospheric river moved into the region. Flood advisories were implemented Thursday and a flood watch was extended through Friday.
Snow at higher elevations was expected to turn to rain as the day progresses, raising concerns about flooding.
In Central Washington, the National Weather Service said Yakima could receive 6 to 8 inches of snow until 4 p.m. Friday, Ellensburg could see up to a foot.
Steve Bodnar, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Spokane, said Wenatchee had received 20 inches of snow Thursday morning, while Leavenworth received 22.5 inches.
At least 4 inches of snow fell early Thursday in Spokane, and the snow was expected to turn into freezing rain Thursday afternoon, the Weather Service said.
Many school districts in Spokane County canceled classes Thursday, while others delayed the start of classes.
Heavy snow made driving dangerous, said Washington State Patrol Agent Ryan Senger in Spokane.
“If you don’t have to go to work or you don’t have to be on the roads, try not to,” Senger said.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.