(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
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.
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.”
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.
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.)
COVERAGE CONTINUED TILL NOON – TO SEE THE REST OF IT, CLICK AHEAD:
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 email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.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:
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.