Train jumps tracks northwest of Kettle Falls; winter weather continues to plague Eastern Washington

Roger Harnack

Blowing and drifting snow continued to affect transportation across Eastern Washington today.
At about 7 a.m., a train jumped the tracks along U.S. Highway 395, about six miles north of the bridge to Kettle Falls.
The train remained upright, stuck in the snow alongside the railroad bed, officials reported. No injuries or spills were reported.
Officials said the incident is weather-related.
The weather was also a factor in a fatal crash in rural Adams County, three miles east of town of Washtucna.
According to the Washington State Patrol, a car and tractor-trailer collided at about 8:24 a.m. on state Highway 26, leaving one woman dead.
Kaylyn F. Bossert, 29, of Soap Lake, was killed in the crash, the patrol said.
Bossert was westbound on the highway when she slid on an icy road into the path of a 2015 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Andrew J. McCarty of Vancouver.
McCarty was not injured, the patrol said, noting the crash blocked the highway.
The fatality followed more than two days of continued closures of rural highways across the Palouse and other areas of Eastern Washington.
The state Department of Transportation shut down vehicle traffic on state Highway 261 a mile north of Washtucna due to blocking and drifting snow.
As of this evening, the state did not have an estimated time of reopening.
Highway 27 also remained closed between Garfield and Fairfield and from Tekoa to Waverly, in Whitman and Spokane counties.
Highway 27 was initially closed Monday afternoon due to similar conditions. Snow drifts were covering the highway, Transportation officials said.
In Adams County, state Highway 21 remained closed, too, due to snow drifting across the roadway.
Transportation officials suggested motorists avoid the area as there were no recommended alternate routes available.
In Yakima County, state Highway 241 remains closed between Sunnyside and the Hanford Highway (state Highway 24).
The highway is closed “due to impassible snow drifts in multiple locations on the roadway,” the state Department of Transporation reported. “Continued high winds and new snowfall are making it difficult for crews to make progress in their efforts to open the roadway.”
Officials will evaluate the highway again at 6 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28.
This morning also saw several Tri-Cities-area schools cancel classes and Yakima County schools start two hours late.
The wintry weather over the last few days is expected to persist across all of Eastern Washington's 20 counties.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for almost the entire region until at least 4 a.m. Thursday.
The Lower Columbia Basin is expected to receive 2-3 inches of new snow overnight.
The advisory expires there are 4 a.m.
From 2-4 inches of snow is expected to fall overnight on the Waterville Plateau and in the Palouse, where the advisory expires at 7 a.m.
The advisory extends to 10 a.m. in the Okanogan and on the east slope of the Cascades, where 3-6 inches of snow is expected.
In Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, the advisory extends until 2 p.m.; 2-3 inches of snow is expected in the valleys and 3-5 inches in the mountains.
Blowing and drifting snow may make driving difficult through all of Eastern Washington, the weather service said.