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Lengthy Cascade mountain pass closures impacting supply chain, trucker association says

Supply shortages, such as fuel, have been reported in some areas of Washington because of the closures in the passes.

NORTH BEND, Wash. — The pass closures in the Cascade mountains are a "real example" of how fast goods can run out if the state's supply chain is interrupted, according to the executive vice president of the Washington Trucker Associations.

Supply shortages, such as fuel, have been reported in Wenatchee and other areas of Washington state because of the closures, according to Sheri Call.

"The longer trucks are unable to travel, the worse the shortages and backlogs will become," a statement from Call reads. "Food, water, medical supplies, and fuel are all important for the public good. However, to keep all areas of the supply chain functioning, continuous, safe delivery of all goods has rightly been made a priority."

"We're grateful to the state's Emergency Management Division for recognizing this and facilitating a broad, short-term hours of service waiver with the governor's office to help expedite delayed freight," the statement continues.

Blewett, Snoqualmie, Stevens and White passes were closed since Jan. 6 due to heavy snow and unsafe travel conditions.

Snoqualmie and Blewett passes reopened Sunday evening. The state said the priority was to "get freight moving." Other trips should be delayed as work continues to reopen the pass to general traffic, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. However, general traffic was not turned away.

White Pass is unlikely to open before Monday due to a substantial amount of snow and debris still covering the roadway, according to an update from WSDOT. The pass remains closed between milepost 135 at Oak Creek and milepost 183. Local traffic from the eastside is allowed up to Lower Tieton Road at milepost 168. 

Stevens Pass will likely remain closed until Tuesday. US 2 is closed from milepost 58 to milepost 99 at the west end of Leavenworth following heavy snow accumulation and high avalanche danger.