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Washington pass closures causing issues for college students trying to get back to school

WSDOT said 38 natural avalanches came down onto the highway Thursday night on the west side of the pass.

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. — Pass closures are causing headaches for everyone, especially students at Washington State University trying to return to Pullman for the start of a new semester.

WSU junior George FitzGerald found himself stuck Friday on the wrong side of the cascade mountains.

"My original plan was Saturday, and I wanted to have that full day to kind of have a cushion and get myself into that school head space and unpack all my stuff," FitzGerald said.

He drove home for winter break weeks ago, now his drive back is delayed. His mom, Kristen, said she’s actually thrilled.

“I might have time to make cookies to send back with him,” she said. “I was very happy. Any time that I get to spend with George is great but I know that he wants to get back and see his friends and get going on his classes."

The Washington Department of Transportation reported crews are making progress on clearing several of the state's mountain passes where conditions are still dangerous.

WSDOT said 38 natural avalanches came down onto the highway Thursday night on the west side of the pass. Maintenance crews are using plows, blowers and graders to clear a path and there’s stills trees and other debris to remove.

The goal is to open Snoqualmie and other passes by Sunday—roads could get very busy.

"I kind of have to play it by ear whether or not Snoqualmie will be possible with traffic and everything and everyone that's going to be going then, so I might end up going Stevens Pass,” FitzGerald said.

Classes at WSU are being canceled Monday and Tuesday and the university is telling students to take their time and drive safely.