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March snow disrupts traffic

Monty Lajune enjoys a walk through falling snow in Oak Harbor on Thursday. He had less trouble on roads than people in cars. Trees on the background sported an unusual mixture of blossoms and snow. - Jim Larsen
Monty Lajune enjoys a walk through falling snow in Oak Harbor on Thursday. He had less trouble on roads than people in cars. Trees on the background sported an unusual mixture of blossoms and snow.
— image credit: Jim Larsen

Snow that turned into ice on Highway 20 caused five accidents and ended up closing the highway in the Deception Pass area for about a half an hour Thursday morning.

The state Department of Transportation sent out a slick-road advisory for Highway 20 at Deception Pass and Skagit County early Thursday. The advisory said crews were hurrying to sand the areas.

About 2 inches of snow fell in northern Whidbey and Fidalgo Island in the wee hours of Thursday morn. On South Whidbey, snow later in the day accumulated to depths of four inches.

Sgt. Mark Marken of the State Patrol said the shaded area of the highway between Deception Pass bridge and Campbell Lake in Skagit County were extremely slick.

In all, Marken said there were five ice-relate accidents in the area that morning, but no accidents on the bridge itself. There were no reports of injuries.

In one accident, Marken said a van went off the road and through a log barrier near the bridge. The State Patrol closed the highway for about a half an hour while the vehicle was being retrieved.

Marken said closure caused traffic on the north side of the bridge to back up all the way to Campbell Lake.

Snowflakes continued to fall on parts of North Whidbey much of the day Thursday, but didn’t accumulate much north of Greenbank as temperatures hovered around freezing. Marken said he didn’t hear of any weather-related traffic problems Thursday night or Friday morning.

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