RUMOR ONLY- Has Anyone Else Heard About Passes Being Closed on Dec 1st : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Visiting a member of the family who I will be staying with in Eastern Washington. Her husband had gone to visit a friend who had some info to give him. The morning I left he told his wife he had been told by a friend that the Department of Transportation was going to be closing the passes in Washington State on Dec 1. They would not be letting anyone go over the pass from Western Washington to Eastern Washington. I don't have any more information. Trying to track down who told him where they got the information. As I said this in a RUMOR only. Seems like if this was true it would cause panic, unless things will start happening before this date.

I'm not trying to pass dis-information, just letting you know what I heard.

-- emerald green (, November 15, 1999


First what are "the passes"?.

Second, do they ever close them around this time of year, maybe due to snowfall?.

-- whats a pass (, November 15, 1999.

A Mountain pass is a low place between mountain peaks where a road or highway passes through. A Pass might be closed on a very temporary basis if the DOT is doing avalanche control, or if they are trying to clear a very heavy accumulation of snow. Some passes are closed seasonally, where there isn't enough traffic to justify continual snow clearing.

I can't imagine major passes between e and w washington being closed on a particular date, there is just way, way too much traffic that uses them.

-- (formerly known as nobody@nowhere.sda), November 15, 1999.

Why don't you call the Departmnet of Transportation in Washington and ask them? Donner pass is closed sometimes due to snow, and when the freeway gets plowed, they reopen. I don't believe the story.

-- bardou (, November 15, 1999.

For you flatlanders; the "passes" are simply that; passes over the mountains; Cascades, Rockies, Sierras, Siskyous, etc. Most are kept open with snow plows during the winter.Close the Cascade passes and Eastern Oregon and Washington are cut off from Western Oregon and Washington. Close the Siskyous and Oregon is cut off from California.As big as Oregon is, by closing only five Cascade passes, the eastern 2/3 of the state is isolated from the western 1/3. Rumor has it that certain survivalist types in southern Oregon are planning to dynamite the Siskyou passes to keep the starving hordes down in California.

-- Ralph Kramden (, November 15, 1999.

The passes are roads going through the Cascade Mountains. No they do not close the passes ever on a specific date, unless it would be road construction. The passes are sometimes closed because of snow storms or slides, but only for a few hours or a couple days at the most.

-- Gay Boling (, November 15, 1999.

Consider this: it snows rather heavily starting in Oct.-Nov.; WSDOT always closes several minor passes (e.g., Chinook) when the snows get heavy - YES! Several passes will be closed (as is usual). This is not a polly insult, but don't take everything you see/hear as a Y2K issue.

-- James (, November 15, 1999.

Emerald -

Had not heard this rumor, but do know from close friend in DOT that they have remediated the snow plows, some of which (newer ones) were date sensitive - had a chip that was maintenance sensitive. They wouldn't start if certain maintenance hadn't been performed. This was completed end of August as I recall.

For what's a pass - Washington state has several mountain passes that go from West to East. Snoqualmie, White and Stevens are the only ones that are open in winter, and they are closed only for avalanche control when necessary (in other words no scheduled closures). Chinook and North Cascades Passes are usually closed in Nov. sometime when it is no longer safe for the plows. When Snoqualmie, Stevens and White are closed all at once - happened last year, all traffic - trucking as well as cars must go down to Portland and along the Columbia River gorge to get to Eastern Washington and points beyond. It is a colossol headache - especially since the gorge is subject to high winds and ice storms.

-- Valkyrie (anon@please.xnet), November 15, 1999.

Mountain passes. Roads which traverse mountain ranges via 'saddles' in the range. Typically get snow bound and require some work to keep open. Sounds like a triag the best you can with what you've got to do the most good for the most people. Possibly this relates to the expectation of being short staffed in the DOT sheds (plow operators, etc).

-- ..- (dit@dot.dash), November 15, 1999.

Ralph Kramden,

"Rumor has it that certain survivalist types in southern Oregon are planning to dynamite the Siskyou passes to keep the starving hordes down in California."

I heard it was a bunch of Californios trying to keep Bigfoot up in Oregon.

-- flora (***@__._), November 15, 1999.

I can't imagine the PTB doing that a month early for a couple of reasons:

1) It would tip their hand early that serious things were afoot and possibly instigate a premature panic.

2) It would be counter-productive to arbitrarily cut off traffic between the east and west at that early of a date. Seattle is a sea port, but much of its supplies come overland from the east, and much of its commerce goes east.

I'm guessing that Snoqualmie Pass (I-90) would be the one limited the most, if this actually happened (and it probably won't happen until after the new year, if at all.) They (the elusive "they" again) would probably not close it down completely, but install check points at either end to make sure that the traffic transiting the pass is the proper traffic. The only reason for closing down the entire pass would be for snowfall in excess of what the plows could clear, and that happens periodically, regardless of Y2K.

If worst comes to worse, there are still a lot of ways to get across the Cascades. If you're concerned, get a Washington Atlas and map out a few routes.

-- rob minor (, November 15, 1999.

About the rumor of closing down the Washington Cascades Passes. I think this has to be only rumor. Not only does alot of commerce continually go over the pass like constant truck shipments. Also think of all the Christmas traffic - families going over the pass at 'xmas time to see one another. I could see maybe them doing it after the 1st of January when everything starts to crash but for them to do it on December 1st, it would really show their hand and even make the pollies to start thinking.

-- Kayla Michael (, November 15, 1999.

On the subject of them possibly closing down the Washington State Cascade Passes. This is one thing that I cannot go along with because of several reasons. Not only is there a constant stream of commerce, mostly trucks, traversing the passes but what about Christmas and the Holidays. Clinton has said there is NO PROBLEM. If they did this it would tip their hand early that even the pollies would know something was up. Now wait till January then it might be a different story. But closing them in December except for some snowstorm is something I can NOT go along with. What about all those families who will be traversing the passes to be with their family during the Holidays. The Holidays are so important to so many people and for so many far flung families, that is the onetime that they get together. When things get bad in January it might be a different story.

-- Kayla Michael (, November 15, 1999.

I tried to resist, but couldn't: :-)

Q: How many Californians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Six. One to turn the bulb, one for support, and four to relate to the experience.

Q: How many Oregonians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Five. One to change the bulb, and four more to chase off the Californians who have come up to relate to the experience.


-- Jerry B (, November 15, 1999.

Chubby Hubby's family lives on White Pass and cousin is the DOT supervisor of the area. Rumor is just that... a rumor. In the first place, if they have to slow things down due to lack of fuel, they won't have to close those passes, they just won't keep them open. Mother Nature will close them real quick. Chinook is always closed this time of year due to snow. Its not a direct pass from east to west and not that important. White Pass has the worst of the roads going over the passes, but usually gets less snow. Often when the other two major passes are closed, White Pass is still open. Taz

-- Taz (, November 15, 1999.


I see you're still tending to hedge on the conservative side.

-- flora (***@__._), November 15, 1999.

Jerry, didnt you know that CA is mostly inhabited by New Yorkers now? Funny how that works! No Offence intended, Im dating a New York sweetie. BTW Ralph, I hear Northern CA is planning to blow the bridges to keep central and southern CA out, but thats only hearsay, as road demolition is a capitol offence, yes? We pay for that damn concrete and I-beams dont we? Fear mongers to the left of me and the right of me!

-- Brad (, November 15, 1999.


Perhaps I'm splitting hairs here for insiders... BUT

I work for the BC Forest Service and have a few years' experience with road maintenance. When we perceive a public safety risk and we don't have enough money for maintenance, we close the road. A simple exercise in liability limitation through deactivation of critical sections and installation of high-visibility barriers.

It seems to me, and my friends at the Ministry of Transportation and Highways, that road closure in the name of public safety is a prudent action.

Maybe a rumour, maybe not. If the local gov't agency responsible for road maintenance knows there is SOME SHORTFALL in its ability to maintain, better to close the road at the start of winter maintenace season and use remaining funds for other projects.

If it's aboveboard there will be public communication. If not, assume either rumour or bad intentions...

You all remain on my mind and in my prayers.

-- Kurt Borzel (, November 15, 1999.

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