Snow snarls Hwy 18 near Tiger Mountain


ISSAQUAH, Wash. – A rare warning is likely a clear sign of how hard the Eastside was hit in Friday’s snowstorm. Chains were required to cross Highway 18 near Tiger Mountain, and for a time collisions kept the road closed.

“It's been awful,” said Kiera Johnson, who was trying to get to work. “I've been stopped on the freeway for probably like an hour."

Highway 18 had to be shut down after several big-rigs jack-knifed in the heavy snowfall. Cars stacked up with nowhere to go.

“Of course it's a little frustrating but it's to be expected in this type of weather and I think the officers are doing the best they can to get us moving,” said another driver, who declined to give his name.

State patrol redirected eastbound traffic to an offramp and turned everybody around while DOT crews worked to clear the collisions further up the highway.

“It's kind of scary but it happens a lot up in this area so normally I just go 20 miles under the speed limit and it's OK,” Johnson said, “but nothing you can do when there are cars in your way."

Eventually the accidents were cleared and Highway 18 was reopened, but what caused trouble for some was a treat for Morgan Wood. The teenager said her mom, Marcy Wood, used the storm as an opportunity to teach her some cold weather driving skills.

“I was being cautious, and it was kind of deserted because everyone was hunkered down, so we had to run errands and my mom was like, ‘Do you want to drive?’ And I said, ‘No better time to learn.’"

Power outages also affected parts of the city. At their height, about 1,500 customers were without electricity. Nearly all those connections have since been restored.

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