Cold and COVID disrupt travel plans in Spokane and across Washington

<p><p>Weather continued to disrupt travel plans for Spokane drivers and flyers on Wednesday as the state experienced arctic cold temperatures and a surge in new coronavirus cases. </p></p><p><p>The Spokane International Airport on Wednesday morning reported 14 delays and two cancellations for flights leaving the airport, according to the airport’s online flight tracker. </p></p><p><p>For flights coming into Spokane, two were canceled and three delayed by about an hour. </p></p><p><p>All of Spokane’s arriving or departing canceled flights were Delta Air Lines routes, as the company said it was dealing with a surge in omicron cases that had led to staff shortages.</p></p><p><p> <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/dec/28/washington-state-reports-record-daily-cases/” target=”_blank”>Washington reported the highest numbers of coronavirus cases tallied</a> in a single day on Tuesday, with the possibility of an upward trend in Spokane County, according to the Spokane Regional Health District.</p></p><p><p>Alaska Airlines also accounted for eight of the 14 departing flight delays, according to the flight tracker.</p></p><p><p>Drivers crossing the state were warned about ice and snow as the thermometer dropped to single-digits temperatures over Tuesday night. </p></p><p><p>Multiple spinouts closed westbound Interstate 90 Snoqualmie Pass at milepost 70 from 6:45 a.m. to 7:38 a.m. Wednesday, the <a href=”https://twitter.com/WSDOT_East/status/1476209271918366720″ target=”_blank”>Washington state Department of Transportation tweeted</a>. </p></p><p><p>A collision around 8 a.m. blocked the left lane of westbound I-90 in Spokane Valley at the Sullivan Road interchange, the <a href=”https://twitter.com/WSDOT_East/status/1476225738541989889″ target=”_blank”>department tweeted Wednesday morning</a>. </p></p><p><p>The department told drivers to expect difficult travel conditions especially on the Cascade passes from Wednesday night to Thursday night, with the heaviest snow expected to fall Thursday afternoon. </p></p><p><p>Affected routes included I-90 and Stevens Pass on U.S. Highway 2 and White Pass on U.S. Highway 12 , the department tweeted Tuesday afternoon.</p></p><p><p>Cold weather was likely to continue to the end of the week, Spokane’s National Weather Service office said in a Wednesday morning news release. </p></p><p><p>More snow-covered roads were expected on Thursday for the Palouse, central Idaho Panhandle and Camas Prairie, the weather service said. </p></p><p><p>Okanogan Valley would likely see continued wind chills of minus 10 to minus 20 Wednesday and Friday mornings, according to the weather service. </p></p><p><p>In Spokane, Wednesday’s temperatures were predicted to hover around 11 degrees with a chance of snow after 10 p.m. Spokane was also expected to see 1 to 2 inches of snow Thursday through early Friday, the weather service said. </p></p>