Local

Holiday travelers hit the roads as rain, snow expected in mountain passes

Headed home for the holidays?

AAA says 115 million people will travel over the next 10 days, and 104 million of them will be driving to their destination.

“We’re going back home to our parents’ place in Sandpoint, Idaho,” said driver Emily Branham.

“Polson, Montana, to my parents’ house. It’s about 13 hours or so, give or take,” said driver Nicole Kaplan.

With rain and snow in the mountain passes, some are trying to get a head start.

“We started early because of the weather, and we have to go over three passes, so we wanted to get it done in the daylight,” said Kaplan.

The Washington State Department of Transportation believes Interstate 5 will be the busiest highway and say travel on Interstate 90 will peak Saturday and Tuesday. Find information on peak travel times here.

“We haven’t seen our family since like June, so it’ll be great to spend time with everybody, especially for Christmas,” said Emily Branham.

And here’s a tip from one driver to another.

“Keep a good following distance, more than you need, especially with the (semi-trucks on) the pass,” said driver Ethan Fogg.

“Give yourself plenty of time, and just, you know, take your time. Don’t be in such a rush. You know that’s when crazy things start happening,” said Kaplan.

Getting across the local passes could be challenging.

Snow is expected to fall across the Cascades starting this afternoon.

Authorities are urging drivers to be cautious because of predicted slick conditions along I-90, I-5, U.S. 2 and Highway 12.

The Washington State Patrol says drivers must pay close attention to driving restrictions. Drivers are required to carry chains in their vehicles even if they have all-wheel drive.

If not, you could be hit with a $500 fine.