Snow, avalanche danger close Chinook, Cayuse mountain passes

CHINOOK PASS — The state Department of Transportation has closed Chinook and Cayuse passes east of Mount Rainier due to heavy snow.

Officials say the avalanche danger is too great to allow traffic over the passes. State Route 410 crosses Chinook Pass at elevation 5,430 feet, and State Route 123 crosses Cayuse Pass, elevation 4,675 feet.

The DOT said 20 inches of snow had fallen in the area since Friday, and several more feet of snow could fall by Monday. Maintenance crews will reevaluate after the storm and determine whether to reopen the roads or keep them closed for the winter.

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