Heavy snow in Oregon and Washington shuts down major highways, knocks out power and traps hundreds.
“Supplies Reach Cutoff Washington Towns Hours Before Next Winter Storm,” reads the headline.
Towns along U.S. Highway 2 between Gold Bar and Skykomish east of Seattle have been cut off since Sunday night after heavy snow knocked down trees and power lines, KING-TV reported.
(The article calls them “mountain” communities, but Gold Bar stands at only 207 feet above sea level, while Skykomish stands at 928 feet.)
Volunteers got water, food and fuel to hundreds of stranded residents just hours ahead of the next winter storm.
On Wednesday, a dozen trucks loaded with supplies reached the shut-off areas when the highway temporarily reopened.
“It brought me to tears. People just don’t do that anymore,” said Skykomish resident Kathy Marsh. “This just restores all the faith in humanity that I’ve lost.”
“I haven’t had power for five days. I haven’t had water for three days. I’m running on a generator, a propane heater. It’s pretty crazy,” Skykomish resident Robert Cunningham told the TV station.
In neighboring Snohomish County, a half dozen roads were closed Thursday morning because of fallen trees and power lines.
Gusting winds knocked out power to more than 25,000 customers in western Washington, The Associated Press reported.
The Transportation Department tweeted that Snoqualmie Pass, which I-90 runs through, had received more than 6 feet (2 m) of snow in five days. The interstate was closed at times Wednesday, and on Thursday, traction tires were required for vehicles traveling in the pass.
To the west, Port Angeles was slammed by up to 20 inches of snow earlier this week, shutting down schools and most businesses in the city.
Farther south in Oregon, eastbound lanes of I-84 were closed overnight between Troutdale, and Hood River because of accumulated ice and snow.
Eastbound lanes on U.S. Highway 26 were also closed for a time. The highway was later reopened but chains were required in some places.
Another winter storm is already bringing more snow to the Pacific Northwest.
Funny thing I’ve noticed: You don’t often hear of people being stranded in their homes by global warming.