U.S. 2, U.S. 97A Reopened After Sunday-Monday Closures
U.S. 2 through Tumwater Canyon and U.S. 97A north of Entiat are back open after both highways were closed down for more than 24-hours from Sunday into Monday.
U.S. 2 reopened after crews from the Department of Transportation cleared 10 snow slides across the highway.
WSDOT spokesperson Lauren Loebsack says the area near Leavenworth has been especially susceptible to avalanches this winter so far.
"For those who have been noticing, it seems like Tumwater's been closed more than usual for this early in the season, I don't have the number right in front of me, but their instincts are correct," said Loebsack. "It's been a La Nina winter, and that's really proving true in that micro climate up in the Leavenworth area."
A La Nina winter typically brings especially wet snow, and more of it to the Pacific Northwest.
U.S. 2 reopened in the noon hour Monday, while U.S. 97 north of Entiat was open again by 3pm after a rock slide threat was cleared.
Loebsack says more rock fall could occur along 97A, or anywhere where there are rock slopes adjacent to a highway.
"Typically, those rock falls stay within the catchment area that we have, or in the ditch or catch basin, but sometimes that overflows," Loebsack said. "When it's wet like this, when the weather warms up after it's been very cold, that can increase the frequency of rock fall."
Loebsack also said it’s important for travelers not to try to remove rocks from the roadway, but instead call Rivercom dispatch or 9-1-1 and report the rock fall.
She said the recommendation is made for public safety, and so the Department of Transportation can know where rock slides are happening.
She said the department will then track the area for a longer-term project.