Highway 2 at Stevens reopens after four days of winter shutdown

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A Washington State Department of Transportation photo shows how heavy snow has many trees on Stevens Pass leaning precariously.

SKYKOMISH — Washington highway crews reopened Highway 2 between Skykomish and the Stevens Pass summit Thursday, four days after wintry conditions and high winds forced its closure.

The route reopened shortly after 3:30 p.m. It had been intermittently open to local traffic, but no vehicles could move across the mountain pass while Washington Department of Transportation workers dealt with snowfall, high winds and downed power lines.

DOT crews went so far as to use a helicopter Wednesday to blow heavy snow off treetops, to prevent treefalls across the two-lane highway.

The pass closed Sunday due to extreme winter weather, stranding some travelers overnight. Continuing treefalls and snow slowed efforts to reopen the roadway in subsequent days.