Thursday, January 31, 2008

I-90 Closed Again

I-90 Closed by Avalanche; Britney Rushed to Hospital:
An avalanche buried parts of I-90 in Western Washington and as far east as New York apparently. “We’ve had a lot of snow and all we can say is we hope Britney’s OK.” Said a spokesperson from the DOT.

I-90 and US 2 are either closed or really backed up in the Cascade Mountains. The third alternative, US 12, is not an easy drive in winter. Newcastle people who need to get over the mountains are pretty much going to have to wait until spring. Christine and the state Secretary of Transportation flew to North (Twin Peaks) Bend to view the backup. The governor issued this statement: “This is one of the worst backups we’ve ever seen and I just hope Britney is OK.”

Rudi and Edwards dropped out of the Presidential Race in order to spend more time at the hospital with Britney. “It’s a tragic situation when people can’t use a major interstate highway to visit a sick friend,” said a saddened Rudi.

OK, you try watching the morning news and see if you can keep from being confused. I looked out the window and there’s no snow at my house.

I-90 has been closed a lot this week due to natural avalanche events as well as what they call “avalanche control.” They shoot howitzers at snow banks hoping to trigger lots of small slides in order to prevent big ones. Since some of these small slides occasionally cover the highway it’s a good idea to close it while the shooting is going on. Also the people who shoot the guns are state employees so it’s anybody’s guess how good their aim is.

Yesterday after almost a day and a half with I-90 closed it was reopened. The avalanche controllers and snow removal gangs were taking a break and kerbang a huge natural avalanche buried the whole road near Granite Mountain. It’s down hill from where the action usually takes place and must have been waiting for everyone to relax.

Fortunately nobody was lost but the quantity of snow is enormous and they’ve been digging out all night. We had three feet of new snow since Monday up there and expect another three feet before Friday. That’s tomorrow. I’m always amazed at the astounding difference in weather between here and just 40 miles east of here.

I’m staying on this side of the hill for a week or so. I don’t want to be too far from a TV because I need an update on Britney every 10 minutes.


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