First big snow storm makes mess for drivers in mountain passes

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. - An overnight snow storm made quite a mess in the mountain passes Friday night. The first serious snow storm of the season came in a flash, leaving unprepared drivers in a lurch.

At Snoqualmie Pass, slick roads and poor visibility left some cars temporarily marooned at the summit. Drivers pulled over to put on snow chains to combat the wintry mix, and some cars had to be towed through the Cascade Range.

Farther down the mountain, I-90 eastbound traffic left drivers frustrated. Despite warnings and restrictions, a trio of semi trucks tried to scale the pass without chains. The trucks spun and churned, blocking traffic for nearly two miles.

Witnesses say the trucks were gliding over the ice and needed help from emergency crews to help navigate the slick, wet ice.

No injuries have been reported, and officials say preparation and patience is key for travelers driving through the pass.

Skiers and snow boarders will be happy to hear Crystal Mountain Ski Resort and Stevens Pass Ski Resort are opening Saturday, thanks to 20 inches of snow.

The National Weather Service says additional Cascade snowfall in amounts of 5 inches up to a foot are possible though Sunday.