U.S. 2 across Stevens Pass reopened Thursday afternoon for the first time since Sunday.
Snow and wind knocked down trees and power lines, shutting the highway down for days, between Gold Bar at milepost 32 and the summit.
The closure left people who live in towns like Index, Skykomish, and Baring stranded. Many still have no power and vital supplies were running out.
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Luckily, volunteers took action. Wednesday morning, dozens of good Samaritans gathered at the Gold Bar Family Grocer. Some of them came with water, food and fuel they had purchased the night before at Walmart in Monroe. Some of the purchases were funded by donations through a GoFundMe page.
“It’s a small town, this is what we do. We help those, we help ours,” said Cheryl Peterson, one of the volunteer organizers.
Others arrived asking what they could buy or do to help.
One man, who asked to be only identified as Pat, spent several hundred dollars buying pallets of firewood, which inspired one lumber yard to say that if trucks could get to those who are stranded, they’d donate a cord of wood to help warm those who have been without power for days.
The group of people who are helping say they’ll try to make runs of supplies until the highway is fully reopened.
People who received the much-needed supplies in Skykomish were moved to tears by the volunteers’ efforts.
“I’ve been rationing my generator as all of us have, because we’ve ran out of gasoline and power has been off since Saturday. I’m just amazed, at the support people are showing here,” said Mark Carroll, who lives in Skykomish. “It hit me in the heart,” he said.
People gathered in Gold Bar early AM to collect supplies they hope to run to residents w/out power & running short on food&water; US 2 is shut down & residents have had to deal w/ outages since winter wx came through. Live @ Noon @KIRO7Seattle pic.twitter.com/x71IBRExxt— Ranji Sinha (@RanjiKIRO7) January 15, 2020
Saw someone drop $500 on firewood @ Gold Bar Family Grocer this AM; people living in this area are running the wood & supplies to fellow residents close to @StevensPass who are cut off by US 2 closure after heavy snow. Story @KIRO7Seattle Noon pic.twitter.com/59rm2Vw5o5— Ranji Sinha (@RanjiKIRO7) January 15, 2020
Also Wednesday, King County said it and multiple agencies are working with officials in Skykomish to respond to the community’s needs.
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