Travel woes ongoing in Washington state amid winter storm

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PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — Freezing rain, ice and snow conditions closed mountain sections of two major roads in both directions Saturday afternoon, complicating road and air travel in Washington state. , officials said.

Interstate 90 has been closed for more than 70 miles (113 km) due to freezing rain and avalanche danger, state transportation officials said. The closure includes Snoqualmie Pass and extends from North Bend to Ellensburg.

The Washington State Department of Transportation said, “This will be an extended shutdown with no plans to open ETA.” said on Twitter.

About 35 miles (56 kilometers) of U.S. Route 2, including Stevens Pass, are also closed due to freezing rain and icy conditions, officials said.

An ice storm warning was issued for Cascades in Snohomish and King counties Saturday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Officials are projecting up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) of ice accumulation on the western approach to the pass in the area.

Winter storms that have paralyzed large swaths of the country over the past week have brought snow, freezing rain, ice and frigid temperatures to Washington State, causing hundreds of flights to be canceled or delayed, making one of the busiest travel destinations. created dangerous driving conditions in an instant. period of the year.

State troopers responded to more than 200 car crashes in western Washington on Friday alone, state trooper Kelsey Harding told KING 5., describes a road that looks like an ice skating rink. Harding said most of the crashes occurred on the north-south boulevard of Interstate 5.

In a separate post on Twitter, Harding said Bellingham’s hometown of Whatcom County had “crashed, spun out and flooded trees on the road due to freezing rain.”

Air travel also remained difficult on Saturday. About 200 flights were canceled at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as of 1 p.m., according to online tracker FlightAware.

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