West Seattle snow (and ice): Monday morning updates

(this post covered 5:12 am to just after noon – afternoon updates are in a newer post; click here to go there)

(latest image from city camera pointing east on The Bridge; refresh for updated image)

(latest image from city camera at Fauntleroy/Alaska, pointing NE; refresh for updated image)
Before the time-stamped updates, our link list:

WSB Traffic page with additional cameras/links relevant to West Seattle commuters
City info on snow/ice routes/procedures (including link to plowed-routes map)
County info on snow/ice routes/procedures (including Metro reroutes)
Metro “adverse weather” service status
King County road alerts
Latest forecast
WSDOT trouble spots via Twitter
Washington State Ferries “service bulletins”
Live 911 log for Seattle fire/medic calls

FIRST UPDATE AT 5:12 AM: Seattle Public Schools will start two hours late today, and its buses will be on their “snow routes,” per the district’s website; other area school changes here. More school and commute updates to come – once you get to work (or wherever), please share what your drive was like, so others will know – thanks! More to come. We’re monitoring citywide traffic reports and for starters, the “major routes are OK – side streets are still the problem” overview prevails. (We saw the plow going back along California, south to Thistle and then turning around to head back, again at 2 am.)

5:34 AM UPDATE: From Metro, its overview:

Because there was no significant precipitation overnight, most Metro Transit buses are operating with regular routing Monday morning. But, approximately two dozen routes – mainly in West Seattle, South Seattle, and East Kent – are experiencing problems due to icy side streets. As of 4:30 a.m., only a few were on snow routing. The other routes in those areas are operating with chains, which could slow service.

Here’s the Metro service status page; we’re checking for West Seattle specifics. (Here’s the full Metro news release.)

5:54 AM UPDATE: Metro’s Linda Thielke tells WSB the “adverse weather” info page IS BEING UPDATED NOW so currently has LAST NIGHT’S INFO – here are a few things from this morning: “Right now, the 22 can’t go on California between Morgan and Thistle. The 21 is running a shuttle through Arbor Heights, otherwise on regular routing. The Route 23 is staying off of Highland Parkway. The 37 and 53 are using Erskine Way to avoid 49th.”

6 AM UPDATE, BUS SPECIFICS NOW AVAILABLE: The Metro page IS updated now; it shows the 21, 22, 23, 37, 53 and 128 ALL on “adverse weather routing.”

(previous screengrab removed since it’s outdated; see new one further down)

6:10 AM UPDATE: Monitoring TV reports (as well as radio reports, police/fire/public works frequencies on scanner, websites etc.). The Bridge is OK (see “live” camera at the top of this post), onramps can be dicey (er, icy), it’s reported.

6:30 AM UPDATE: Sanding truck just went by our nearest arterial intersection (California/Thistle) again. We’ll be checking later on an interesting question: Will trash/recycling pick up today? (This is our neighborhood’s pickup day, anyway.) Thanks to everyone who continues to post commute reports in the comment section — some questions, there, too, so if you’ve been out driving, maybe you can help answer them, neighbor to neighbor. Adding to the school info: South Seattle Community College will start at 10 am today.

6:48 AM UPDATE: Wondering about the rest of the week? No more snow expected till Tuesday night and Wednesday – the forecast (for what it’s worth) on Wed. COULD, we say COULD, be ugly – “anywhere from a couple to as much as six inches of new snow for the lowlands” that day, according to the “forecast discussion.” So just in case – today/tonight’s a great time for shopping … Meantime, as commute comments continue to come in beneath this post, Elyse writes, and Scott C said this in e-mail, getting all the way to Everett was no problem – smooth sailing outside WS – 35th to The Bridge is fine.

6:57 AM UPDATE: That photo from Talani at Stor-More Self-Storage (WSB sponsor) via Facebook, with this note on the nearby Avalon/Yancy intersection (map):

We see cars driving down Avalon, we see busses driving down Avalon, we see cars driving down Yancy…we see them all going very slowly and cautiously…we hear crunching, even when they are on the black top…so sheets of ice are out there, even though it’s lookin’ better than yesterday…we care about ya…be careful out there…free hot chocolate, coffee, and mochas at Stor-More Self Storage today from 9-6 for all our brave neighbors.

7:29 AM UPDATE: Metro has added another route to its table of buses on “adverse weather” routes – NOT a West Seattle bus (it’s the 123) but nonetheless we want to make sure you’re getting the latest regional info in case you transfer – this is the newest screengrab (*removed because it’s outdated – see 11 am hour for latest one)

8:02 AM UPDATE: Another school change: Westside School is starting at 9:30 am. No major road problems reported so far. We’re going out for a pic of our intersection now that it’s light, just to see what several overnight deicings/sandings have done.

8:19 AM UPDATE: The Olympics are gorgeous pink and snow-frosted (finally). The sidewalks, death-defying. Just took a short walk outside WSB HQ for these views and nearly fell despite all efforts at safely. First one is looking north on California from Thistle – both looking well-sanded/de-iced; second, though, is what Mona would call an Icy Side Street of Death – SW Sullivan, a block south of Thistle:

8:35 AM UPDATE: Just got a note from Sharonn Meeks; in the Fairmount neighborhood, steep 37th is closed from Providence Mount St. Vincent north to SW Alaska:

8:58 AM UPDATE: Thanks to Michelle for letting us know that Holy Rosary School has now changed its status – instead of a delay, it’s closed for today. (Website confirms.)


9:31 AM UPDATE: We’re calling around trying to figure out where to buy chains; looks like we may have to go to Sodo. (Schuck’s in White Center said by phone that they’ve sold $10K worth of chains and antifreeze in the past day or two – they have some chains but not the size we need.) A few things from people on Twitter: The parking lot in front of Westwood QFC is icy; Carolyn wrote, “The express didn’t show on Fauntleroy so we all jumped on local 54. Icy shoulders/bus stops. Main lane ok”; a West Seattleite who’s in upstate New York says it’s 47 degrees, raining, and the snow is melting; a Twitterer who’s in Vegas says snow is expected there (here’s online coverage).

9:35 AM UPDATE: More updates – Dinah near Westcrest says the side streets there are miserably icy (so beware if you were even thinking of going to the dog park); Anne from Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) says SW Findlay near Ventana HQ is bad too:

10:03 AM UPDATE: Linda at Metro has confirmed what Sam reported in comments, that the 125 also is on “adverse weather” reroute, and says the online list is being updated. Meantime, on our partner site White Center Now, Ricardo writes that SW Myrtle east of Delridge by Sanislo Elementary is “an ice sheet on a hill” (we have heard the “ice sheet” phrase dozens of times today). Thanks to Richard P. Hill for sending a photo of the spectacular Olympics, which we mentioned earlier:

10:49 AM UPDATE: You could have guessed this one — no trash pickup in West Seattle today. Here’s the city news release. It says: Leave it out; they’ll try again tomorrow if weather/roads are better. If they don’t get to it tomorrow, bring it in tomorrow night and they’ll allow double pickup next Monday for no extra charge.

11:07 AM UPDATE: With this icy-roads (and more snow reportedly on the way – here’s the latest forecast) mess colliding with the school-closure process, we checked with Patti Spencer at Seattle Public Schools regarding the status of public hearings like the one tomorrow at Genesee Hill Elementary (which the district wants to close after finding Pathfinder K-8 a new home). Here’s the district reply:

At this time, we plan to proceed with all scheduled public hearings. If there is a change, we will announce that immediately via our Web site and other means. We understand that some locations in the city are experiencing more challenging road conditions than others. We want our families and community to be safe, and we also want to hear from them. In addition to public hearings, we also continue to receive feedback via e-mail at capacity@seattleschools.org and schoolboard@seattleschools.org

Speaking of Genesee Hill, Metro has just added Route 57 to its list of buses on “adverse weather” routes. Here’s a screengrab of the updated list:

11:45 AM UPDATE: From co-publisher Patrick: “PLEASE HANG UP AND DRIVE.” He is just back from a trip to look for chains (since we have to cover important night meetings this week, including Genesee Hill tomorrow night and the School Board Wednesday, no matter what it takes to get there) and reports having nearly been hit several times by people who think they can talk on the phone AND negotiate icy roads. (P.S. He did find chains at Les Schwab on 4th. “If you go to any place that sells tires and chains, be ready for a line,” he adds.) We’ve also heard from Talani at Stor-More again – she’s talked to various delivery drivers (since Stor-More has mailbox service too) who unanimously say the side streets are – let’s use Mona’s line again – Icy Side Streets of Death.

11:52 AM UPDATE: We’ll be switching over to an afternoon update soon, after putting up a couple non-snow news items. But first, another road report, and photo, from Yumpears:

Yumpears reports:

While waiting with my son for the snow routed bus to Alki Elementary, took a couple
pictures of the very icy Alaska street. (That one) is looking east up Alaska street – which is closed. There was also a moving van stuck mid-block, just past the street closed sign. The moving van people actually put chains on the truck to back it slowly down the hill. At the bottom they took the chains off and headed north up 47th. I did see a few SUVs make it up Alaska. And for other readers who may be waiting for the school bus – we waited for the 511 to Alki from 10:20 to 10:45 and it didn’t see it. So we headed back home for the day.

11:56 AM UPDATE: You might have noticed, we didn’t do the weekly gas-price survey – not worth risking life and limb (yours, if not ours) on ice last night for that. Patrick reports gas at Costco is $1.65 (4th Ave); we had seen $1.69 at Arco on Delridge before the snow. Here’s hoping next weekend will be conducive for the survey. Things had gotten rather predictable anyway.

12:07 PM UPDATE: Just heard SDOT’s Rick Sheridan say in TV interview that they’re devoting “extra resources” to West Seattle. We’re asking for any available specifics.

86 Replies to "West Seattle snow (and ice): Monday morning updates"

  • cami December 15, 2008 (5:27 am)

    My husband just drove up Admiral from Alki (in MY 4WD) and said it looks about the same as yesterday especially the spot where we had trouble driving yesterday near Lander St. and 53rd. Komo has a camera there now.

  • WSB December 15, 2008 (5:39 am)

    Thanks – I expect the tv stations will all have crews over here, since we were officially “hit harder” than other neighborhoods (and the trouble spots are all quite precisely documented thanks to WSB’ers!) – TR

  • Magpie December 15, 2008 (5:42 am)

    King is over at the top of Genesee Hill..said that WS was especially hard hit. I can hardly wait to go to the bus. Brrr and my cat is really unhappy. She goes out for about 2 minutes and then wants back in!

  • Carole December 15, 2008 (6:30 am)

    Anyone know how Admiral from California down to the Bridge is? Or Oregon east from California toward the Bridge?

  • A. Denny December 15, 2008 (6:31 am)

    Smooth sailing along Alki Ave. and Harbor Ave. with a nice clear non-icy track in the middle. Ditto for both directions up and down Avalon Way. Drivable down the middle of the lane. This was a good way for me to get from sea-level to the Junction.

  • Caitlin December 15, 2008 (6:32 am)

    Does anyone know how the roads off of Thistle are or the hills?

  • jessica December 15, 2008 (6:37 am)

    If the streets had been salted yesterday, the roads would be fine today. But now, its all a thick sheet of ice. We are near the riteaid on califorina. This morning I was headed to work and turned back to go home, I drive a nissan xterra with brand new tires and almost didn’t make it up a hill by Jefferson square, and then was concerned that I might not be able to stop.

  • Caitlin December 15, 2008 (6:40 am)

    Yikes! Thanks Jessica.

    Local weather doesn’t suggest this sort of weather will let up for awhile. Does anyone know if driving out of town on Christmas Eve is doable?

  • Elyse December 15, 2008 (6:43 am)

    I made it successfully from West Seattle all the way to Everett this morning. The roads are great as soon as you get to the bridge. So for all of you worried, like I was, about a long commute, you just need to survive West Seattle. (I took 35th from Camp Long area and it was clear.)

  • Hillary December 15, 2008 (6:45 am)

    I am curious about Seattle’s snow response, which was seemingly nothing. We moved from the east coast 8 months ago, and I ventured out yesterday afternoon in our 4WD only to find sheets of ice where roads should be. After going a few blocks (hoping it would clear up on the main roads) I quickly ventured home, only to see cars all over the place along the way. If WS was the worst hit, shouldn’t there be salting or sanding or plowing – something?? Anyway, I understand snow is not common in Seattle, and therefore suggest people DO NOT DRIVE until the roads are treated in some way. If you don’t know how to drive in snow, you won’t know how to drive in ice…it’s very scary, and not worth the risk. My husband and I both have good vehicles for snow, but are staying home this morning due to the ice in SW Seattle.

  • Hillary December 15, 2008 (6:46 am)

    Oh, and THANK YOU WS BLOG. These updates are awesome!

  • DonaLuisa December 15, 2008 (6:47 am)

    Has anyone driven up Erskine yet this morning? How is it?

  • WSB December 15, 2008 (6:52 am)

    Metro routed the 37 and 53 to Erskine to AVOID 49th, so that may be a vote of confidence.

  • Caitlin December 15, 2008 (6:53 am)

    Is WSDOT in charge of the snow plowing/sanding/anti-icing? Is there a way to find out when certain roads will be serviced? It seems if you are on roads other than California, 35th, or Delridge, you are out of luck.

  • zerodacus December 15, 2008 (6:53 am)

    California to Admiral Eastbound was fine this AM @ 4:30, of course there is no traffic then. I-5 was clear and bare all the way to Everett.

  • Sue December 15, 2008 (6:54 am)

    Jessica, they don’t salt the streets out here because it wouldn’t be “environmentally friendly” – I guess it’s a better choice to let us risk our lives by spinning out of control and hitting other cars and people. I agree with you though – if everybody shovelled their walks, salted, and they salted the roads, we wouldn’t be having these conversations on here.
    Caitlin, it’s way too early to know what it’s going to be like a week and a half from now. You’ll probably have a better idea by Monday of next week. Although I suspect you’ll probably be fine by then. Of course, it also depends on where you’re trying to drive to.

  • WSB December 15, 2008 (6:59 am)

    SDOT, the city, is in charge of city roads; WSDOT is the state (I-5, Highway 99, etc.) There is no timetable — we’re at the junction of two arterials but didn’t see anyone till 3:30 yesterday afternoon, then multiple times overnight — but there is a list of which routes are plowed/deiced. I have linked to it multiple times in the past couple days, will add it to this in a sec. (added) The link is a fairly sizable download available from the right side of this page:

  • GC December 15, 2008 (7:01 am)

    Any hope the City will be canceling hearings and other such activities, and/or sending home non-critical staff before the Great Afternoon Re-Freeze?

  • Caitlin December 15, 2008 (7:05 am)

    Thanks WSB and Sue!

  • WSB December 15, 2008 (7:07 am)

    We’ll have notes out shortly to a variety of folks to ask such things. If it’s true that much of the rest of the city isn’t dealing with the iciness we are, then it’s not likely – everyone will probably focus on getting business done today and tomorrow before possible WED Snow Panic. We’re checking on tonight’s hearings downtown on guns, trees, and The Viaduct, in particular.

  • AlkiMac December 15, 2008 (7:12 am)

    Alki Ave. to Harbor Ave bare and dry mostly. I drove over the West Seattle Bridge at 6 am and had no problems. I-5 to Kent is bare and dry. Orillia Road (big hill down to Kent) is bare and dry. Kent has a light dusting of snow; not as much as Alki; streets mostly bare and dry.

  • Holly December 15, 2008 (7:14 am)

    The 54 local was right on time and chained! Thanks WSB for keeping us updated!

  • DonaLuisa December 15, 2008 (7:25 am)

    DH has made it up Erskine just fine. Had a semi and a bus oncoming, so not much room for error. Now he is on the bridge and says it’s backed up.

    Thanks, WSB!

  • Lena December 15, 2008 (7:44 am)

    Any word on how the 23rd ave sw to Dawson turnoff from Delridge is? It’s that long winding road to the community college.

  • Chuck & Sally's Van Man December 15, 2008 (7:46 am)

    The 54 Express (7:07) was right on time. I was really expecting a mess this morning and was happily surprised. Downtown there is none of the snow and ice still locking up our own W. Seattle side streets. Now if only the return commute goes as well…


  • steph December 15, 2008 (7:53 am)

    anybody know about Roxbury going down Olson Place hill? or going down Highland park way hill?

  • sks December 15, 2008 (7:54 am)

    Drove from arbor heights to downtown this morning along 35th, west seattle bridge, 1st ave and all was clear and fairly easy going. People were being cautious in w seattle. The south end of downtown is bare.

  • dapuffin December 15, 2008 (7:55 am)

    Has anybody tried walking from 35th and 106th to the snow-route stop for the 21 bus at 35th and Roxbury? I.e., are the sidewalks all icy or are they walkable?

  • HighlandParker December 15, 2008 (7:58 am)

    Does anyone know how Highland Park Ave is? I need to get down to 99 and am worried about getting down the big hill. Thanks!

  • WSB December 15, 2008 (7:58 am)

    Buses were avoiding it so I would take that as a hint for starters, till we get an eyewitness report!

  • SB December 15, 2008 (8:03 am)

    Any word on 100th Ave SW heading east to 35th Ave SW in Arbor Heights?

  • NyteMusic December 15, 2008 (8:10 am)

    No salting, please – it ruins automobiles. We usually only have 1-2 days a year of this, that may be why we don’t go to huge mesaures when it happens. Most people can’t drive in it anyway (just due to lack of practice), so we are better off staying home if we can.

  • Kayleigh December 15, 2008 (8:14 am)

    Findlay off California toward Fauntleroy = solid ice

  • J December 15, 2008 (8:17 am)

    So, will I need chains 35th/Alaska/California? Or once I get out of the neighborhood streets will I just have to take them off?

  • J December 15, 2008 (8:19 am)

    I’d love pics of those streets, as well, if anyone is nearby!

  • Sue December 15, 2008 (8:26 am)

    NyteMusic, salting a few days a year isn’t going to damage automobiles. It took years of NYC salting of roads to do anything to my car, and even then it was minor. Extreme circumstances call for extreme response. And if you think these roads will be clear in 1-2 days this time around, due to the extreme cold, you’re sadly mistaken.

  • Sue December 15, 2008 (8:29 am)

    So now I know why WS had no plows/deicing – every last one of them must’ve been downtown; it doesn’t look like it ever snowed here. Not one inch of ice/snow to be seen on any sidewalk or street.
    A big RANT to Metro. Last night on NWCN I saw a report on how they were chaining all the buses so they’d be ready to go by 4am. So my 54X comes this morning, without chains, and won’t pull into the bus stop because it won’t get out again due to the ice. So instead we had to walk 5 feet across an ice slick to get onto the bus. If he’d had chains, it would be no problem. Oh, and when I got off the bus on Third Avenue, I saw 2 dozen buses (at least) during my walk and not ONE bus had chains on them.

  • Suzanne December 15, 2008 (8:29 am)

    I live around 37th and 100th and 100th isn’t too bad. I drove it last night and my husband drove it this AM. Just be careful on the little hill as you approach the stop sign at 35th.

  • SB December 15, 2008 (8:32 am)

    Thanks for the update!! I haven’t seen much traffic, but live a little farther down.

  • Jen V. December 15, 2008 (8:36 am)

    the side streets are just ridiculous. sheets of ice. Fauntleroy and California are clear for the most part. Truly scary driving off the main roads, though. My parking area was a sheet of ice, too- I bit it last night getting out of the car and again this morning getting into it. :( Couple my obvious natural grace with ice = hilarity.

  • HighlandParker December 15, 2008 (8:38 am)

    NyteMusic, That’s true what Sue said. I grew up in Wisconsin where salt is part of the winter package. Only after some consistent length of time does it really impact your car.

  • austin December 15, 2008 (8:39 am)

    Drove to olympia and back last night with no problems. A little slow in tacoma due to icing but otherwise clear sailing.

  • J December 15, 2008 (8:42 am)

    100th isn’t too bad with chains, or without?

  • K December 15, 2008 (8:45 am)

    How is the area over by All Star Fitness? After being cooped up all day yesterday I’m itching to get to the gym, but I’m scared to try it with my little Saturn. I’m on 35th.

  • Laura December 15, 2008 (8:52 am)

    We live near Hughes Park. Holden is sanded and as long as you take it slow it isn’t a problem getting up to 35th. No problems getting down 35th to the bridge.

  • WSB December 15, 2008 (8:53 am)

    Yancy has ice – we have heard frequent updates via Facebook from Talani at Stor-More, just uphill from there, though Avalon before Yancy et al is reportedly OK.

  • sam December 15, 2008 (8:56 am)

    Re: Metro re-routes. their website must be wrong- our neighbor waited (at the bottom of the hill like they suggest) for 125 at Dawson/ 18th FOREVER and the bus didn’t come. then, when we were driving down Delridge- near the High School – we saw the 125- since it wa sthere- it was on adverse weather re-route.

    Lena- don’t know if its too late, but our neighbors said that Oregon/ 21st/ Dawson up to 16th was fine. though they have an SUV- we didn’t brave it- we took Orchard off Delridge.

  • Suzanne December 15, 2008 (9:01 am)

    I was talking about 100th without chains. It’s not perfect, but not too bad. Just take your time.

  • Peaches December 15, 2008 (9:02 am)

    Heads-up to Westside School/Explorer West parents–28th Ave SW is a sheet of ice. Lots of cars sliding both up and down the VERY slight incline on 28th from SW 99th and SW 102nd.

  • WSB December 15, 2008 (9:23 am)

    Sam, I’m checking with Metro on what’s up with the 125, at least for later reference. Thanks again to everyone for sharing the road/bus/etc. info.

  • Jesse December 15, 2008 (9:38 am)

    Live at Beach Drive & Douglas Place and the 6:10 and 6:35 bus 37 never showed, ended up driving in around 6:50, drove the same route 37 does to SODO (alki to WSB to first) and never saw a 37. Roommate drove in around 8 after waiting 45 minutes for the 37 bus. My guess is that they’re not making it down the hill at the south end of beach but the website says the only change to the route is up in the junction.

    Also, a friend informs me that Admiral from California west to the bottom of the hill is still an ice rink.

  • Susan December 15, 2008 (9:40 am)

    Does anyone have any info about condition of Andover SW, from the Pigeon Pt. neighborhood, which runs east/west across Delridge to All-Star fitness?
    I need to run errands,but am afraid to “sled” down the hill in my car!

  • brittany December 15, 2008 (9:44 am)

    getting the kids out to their snow route stops. delridge looks great, and even genessee btw delridge and admiral looks ok- “road closed” signs are down and cars seems be making it to the top!

  • datamuse December 15, 2008 (9:49 am)

    Highland Park Way wasn’t bad this morning, at all; looks like they at least sanded it and parts of it were even dry. The hardest part was getting out of my alleyway.

    A few slick spots on 99/599 between the 1st Ave S bridge and I-5. No problems in Tacoma, north of 512 at least, though I heard about icy patches on I-5 around Fort Lewis.

  • rjb December 15, 2008 (9:51 am)

    It snows and sticks in Seattle maybe once every two years. This is exceptional – it barely ever snows and stays around longer than a few hours. So Seattle doesn’t have a rigourous salting / sanding / plowing plan. It wouldn’t make sense to spend that much money on removing ice from side streets – plus the main streets seem to take care of themselves.
    Get used to not having your side street plowed when it snows here. That’s why when it snows an inch in Seattle, a lot of businesses close down and you get a snow day.

  • RhondaPorter December 15, 2008 (9:57 am)

    Just heard that some West Seattle bus stops were missed for Kennedy students.

  • J December 15, 2008 (9:59 am)

    Peaches, how about from EW to Roxbury?

  • J December 15, 2008 (10:00 am)

    One parent was wondering, should they have the kids walk to Roxbury for pickup?

  • JenV December 15, 2008 (10:01 am)

    black Suburban is stuck on Findlay, can’t move due to ice…

  • J December 15, 2008 (10:04 am)

    Suzanne, thanks! I found the only difficulties I had were neighborood (AH) streets; 100th was okay, as you said–just take it slowly.
    For other “chickens” wondering; 35th has bare tire tracks, and sanded, Thistle is well-sanded, California (Thistle to Junction) likewise. I felt safe, mostly because almost all other drivers were likewise cautious.

  • K December 15, 2008 (10:13 am)

    thanks for all the updates. :) Another WI transplant here…i know how to drive on snow but ice covered hills? That’s an entirely different animal!

  • Iggy December 15, 2008 (10:17 am)

    I second the comment from K. The West Seattle Blog is providing an old-fashioned neighborhood; much needed in a big city. In past years, we’ve felt isolated when it snows; now we get minute-by-minute updates. Thanks everyone.

  • rykrite December 15, 2008 (10:27 am)

    Our street is an icy mess – I can hear a car sliding as I type this! We’re on 45th near the nursery, and though California is okay, I’m not even going to try to get to California by car. Today’s an on-foot day for us.
    What’s the deal with the two hour school delay? The snow will not be melted in two hours; the ice will still be there. Interesting choice, I think. Since our daughter is “only” in kindergarten and we’d have to brave a big hill to get her to school, we kept her home. Several friends did the same with their kids.

  • Helen December 15, 2008 (10:58 am)

    I waited until after 9am to venture in to work. I live on 18th Ave SW, at the 5900 block. Thankfully, that was the worst of my commute to lower Queen Anne. 18th was very icy, but once I got to Delridge, it wasn’t bad. I stayed off the high bridge (me=play it very safe), took the low bridge, and then headed north on E Marginal until it turned into Alaskan Way to Broad, then to Elliott, where my office is.

    In talking to my cohorts from other parts of Pugetropolis this morning, I think it’s safe to say that West Seattle got freakin’ POUNDED by this lovely storm. :P

  • Sue December 15, 2008 (11:06 am)

    RJB writes: “It snows and sticks in Seattle maybe once every two years. This is exceptional – it barely ever snows and stays around longer than a few hours.”
    I’ve lived in the Seattle area for 4 years now – 1 year in Lynnwood and 3 years here in West Seattle. I’ve been hearing this same line from many people for 4 years. Why is it then that in 3 of the 4 winters that I’ve seen extreme icing on hills that made getting about treacherous, and lasting for days? I don’t think it’s as “rare” an event as people make it out to be. Maybe in the past it was true, but that seems to be changing. Before I moved here I was also told that “the city shuts down” when there’s ice/snow. Unfortunately, I don’t work for such a company, and am expected to go in – downtown looks lovely, so they don’t care what it’s doing anywhere else. Honestly, I don’t know many people who can just sit at home and wait it out. If I don’t go into work, I don’t get paid.

  • JenV December 15, 2008 (11:07 am)

    King5 has some good West Seattle footage on the main page.

  • Lisa December 15, 2008 (11:32 am)

    11am KOMO News on Channel4 broadcast live from Admiral/Belvidere about how bad the side streets are in West Seattle. They said don’t expect them to get any better until this entire cold system has passed…maybe next week.


  • WSB December 15, 2008 (11:35 am)

    Yes, this is rather reminiscent of January 2007, when the side streets – and even some not-so-side streets – stayed iced over for days.

  • JenV December 15, 2008 (11:46 am)

    Boss just called – KOMO is reporting live from outside True Value in the junction.

  • sam December 15, 2008 (11:46 am)

    Susan- Andover, btwn Delridge and 21st/22nd? looks dry. (can’t see all the way up)

  • Susan December 15, 2008 (11:54 am)

    Thanks, Sam!

  • WSB December 15, 2008 (11:59 am)

    JenV and all – get ready to see lots of TV crews in WS over the next few days, since the fact we got “hit harder” than anywhere else means we West Seattleites are now the Poster Children of December Storm ’08. Not to mention, West Seattle has many spots that are easy shots to the microwave towers (if your big tall live truck antenna can’t “see” a tower, you have to haul out the big clunky satellite truck). Everybody ready for their closeup? :)

  • JenV December 15, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    THIS is what it takes for the mainstream media to acknowledge that we exist? ;)

  • WSB December 15, 2008 (12:04 pm)

    They’ve been over for the school closures too. At least, for Arbor Heights – I haven’t seen a Cooper story yet – but I’m sure they’ll all be at Genesee Hill tomorrow night (two-fer: icy hill PLUS school closure public hearing) …

  • GreenSpaces December 15, 2008 (12:05 pm)

    Reporting as “WhiteSpaces” from High Point today, I have been out twice today, once with my Italian greyhound, bundled in a thermal shirt, down jacket, and scarf (she refuses to wear her boots); and once with my husband who had a dr appt at the High Point medical center and I walked with him so I could help him up if he fell since he did something to his back. There were school buses all over the place, having trouble with SW Raymond. A lot of my neighbors have left and not returned, so must have made it out of WS, but I am a “batten down the hatches” type of person, and since I am unfortunately unemployed at the moment, have absolutely no pressure to go anywhere. It is a huge relief. We did get out for church yesterday, since I was playing in the bell choir and if one person doesn’t make it, the music sounds bad (hehe) but I think the roads are worse today than they were yesterday.

    OUr birdfeeder on our deck has been so busy and I have an Anna’s hummingbird here constantly eating, along with black capped chickadees, Oregon juncos, and also a flicker, but I haven’t seen the flicker in a few days. He has posted some nice photos on his blog at http://www.pensandpixels.com/stephenhj/index.htm

  • homesweethome December 15, 2008 (12:08 pm)

    just curious – we also lived in the East for a longtime – there businesses and residents were obligated to shovel their walks/sidewalks to make foot traffic safe – if you didn’t you were fined. Is there nothing like this in Seattle?

  • Sue December 15, 2008 (12:12 pm)

    Homesweethome, I’ve wondered that too. In NYC I think it’s within 4 hours after a storm stops that you must shovel your walks or you can get a $100 fine. Most people I’ve spoken to here, on the other hand, don’t even own a shovel. My husband was out shovelling our walk and our neighbor’s walk yesterday, and said he never saw another person out there. And the quality of the sidewalks (other than mine) concurs with that.

  • BG December 15, 2008 (12:24 pm)

    I remember in the midwest if your walk wasn’t shoveled your mail wasn’t delivered

  • d December 15, 2008 (12:36 pm)

    Hmmm….I’m wondering how many WS folks who had planned on attending the ultra-important Viaduct Townhall will now cancel their trip?

    Maybe it’s worth going back to the WSDOT comment link at this point. At a minimum, it might be kind of therapeutic, if you’ll excuse my sarcasm.

    I’m just getting read to head out in my car and trying to overcome my concern that the Paul Simon’s song is going through my head: “Slip sliding away, slip sliding away…You know the nearer your destination, The more you slip sliding away.”


  • cathy December 15, 2008 (12:43 pm)

    SW Orleans Street, the “back way” up from Alki to Genesee Hill and on to the Alaska Junction, is a sheet of ice. Don’t try it.

    I had to hike up that hill this morning to try to retrieve our van. It had been left at the top by our son last night. One of the neighbors there said the ice was so bad that pedestrians were crawling across the street on hands and knees.

    Once I was able to maneuver our vehicle onto Charlestown Street – onto the Metro Bus #57 route – the driving was still slick, but doable.

    I did find a student’s school project about The Middle Ages lying in the middle of the road. Due Date: Monday, December 15. Someone’s paper is late. I’m going to try to track down the owner.

  • Peaches December 15, 2008 (12:47 pm)

    J, sorry, I was offline for while. All of 28th SW is still a sheet of ice (as evidenced by the butt-plant I took walking to the bus on Roxbury). Took me 20 minutes to walk from the Westside School to Roxbury–usually a ten minute walk. No fewer than four cars stuck on the road this morning in front of Westside. One couldn’t make it up the VERY slight incline, and traffic backed up from there. It was a snarl at the school during drop-off for at least an hour. Not sure if the back door on 30th SW is any better–might be worth a look.

  • Terry Robin December 15, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    I want to go to the juction from Murray Ave SW–has anyone driven up 48th from Lowman Park area–I read Erskine is OK.

  • nuni December 15, 2008 (1:07 pm)

    BTW..don’t bother trying to get to Home Depot for sand/salt. They are all out until tomorrow.

  • Kayleigh December 15, 2008 (1:07 pm)

    We don’t shovel snow here because it doesn’t snow here. ;-)

    I grew up here and as kids we would hope and hope and hope for snow. And it rarely snowed enough to close the schools in the 70s, far as I remember.

  • Sue December 15, 2008 (1:13 pm)

    Nuni, don’t hold your breath that Home Depot will have it tomorrow. During the bad ice storm in January 2007, our apartment complex (West Ridge Park) had put in an advance order for a large quantity of salt for the complex roads/walks. When the storm hit, they were told they could not have it because the city needed it, and it wasn’t until about 2 weeks later that they were able to get what they needed, naturally, after it wasn’t needed anymore.

  • WSB December 15, 2008 (1:17 pm)

    Ok – we have finally launched the post for afternoon updates – so please share further comments here:

    or e-mail us

    THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for sharing so much info to help your neighbors, met and unmet, get around safely!!!!!!

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