Always be prepared when traveling over mountain passes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Always be prepared when traveling over mountain passes

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SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash.-- Sunday night's snowfall caused a few closures on Snoqualmie Pass and this time of year, it's something you have to be prepared for.

The Washington State Patrol says although it's not required for passenger cars to carry chains all the time, it is recommended. And if you're caught trying to make it over the pass without chains when they're required, you could face a $500 fine.

The DOT does recommend people always carry a winter emergency car kit that has first aid, water, snacks, and warm clothes in case you do get stuck. 

"Conditions on the passes change in a moments notice. It can go from no requirement, to chains required within an hour, just depends how conditions are," said Summer Derrey with the Dept. of Transportation.

Derrey says the DOT always has crews working on mountain passes to make sure drivers are safe and able to pass. But when the snow falls too fast or too hard, they won't hesitate to close them.

You can always call 511 to get road condition information, or find links to the DOT website on our site, or through our Facebook page.

The DOT also has a smart phone app to keep you informed with up to the minute information.