(scroll down/refresh for frequent updates, in the main text below and in “comments” – INFO LINKS: WSB TRAFFIC PAGE WITH CAMERAS – METRO ROUTE STATUS LIST – SEA-TAC FLIGHT STATUS – REGIONAL SCHOOL STATUS – we have a report of one OPEN West Seattle School, Tilden School – COUNTY CLOSURES INCLUDING COURTS – CITY LIBRARIES OPENING AT NOON – OTHER NOTES: “PLAID TIDINGS” STILL ON – SATURDAY MAGIC SHOW AT ADMIRAL STILL ON – “ADMIRAL SINGS CHRISTMAS” FOR SUNDAY, POSTPONED TO 12/28 – BOTH YMCA’S CLOSING AT 5 PM – DELRIDGE AND HIGH POINT COMMUNITY CENTERS CLOSING AT 4 PM – WEST SEATTLE FARMERS MARKET FOR THIS SUNDAY HAS BEEN CANCELED – TODAY’S TRASH SERVICE CANCELED (DETAILS HERE ON WHAT’S NEXT – DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES CENTER CLOSED, WEST SEATTLE OPEN – please e-mail updates to firstname.lastname@example.org)
That’s the frozen pond at High Point in the foreground of a panorama assembled by Syl L from Derek‘s photos (see the fullsize version here). A couple quick links: Road cams on the WSB Traffic page; Metro service status.
7:06 AM UPDATE: TV says The Bridge is OK – but, say you work downtown, for example, the problem is icy streets once you get there. Here’s the bridge cam (refresh for the latest image):
Metro’s morning update includes the phrase “severely reduced service” in the headline:
King County Metro Transit continues to operate with approximately half of its regular service due to dangerous road conditions.
On Thursday, much of Metro’s and Sound Transit’s bus service in King County was temporarily suspended due to weather and road conditions, and that is the situation for Friday morning as well. Please check the Metro Online website before you leave home to see if your bus route is operating and if it is on snow routing.
Bus passengers should be aware that travel conditions can change quickly, and this list of disrupted service may be revised at any time due to weather and road conditions. In some locations, where roads are impassable for large buses, Metro will be operating chained shuttles.
In order to safely transport as many passengers as possible, Metro is focusing on providing bus service on cleared highways and arterial roads, and to major transit centers and park-and-ride lots. Access in and out of West Seattle continues to be a problem, and there will be very little service to side streets and smaller neighborhoods.
Passengers should be prepared to board buses at major transit centers, flat arterials, or at the top or bottom of hills. Please dress warmly, wear appropriate footwear, and be prepared to wait. The buses that are running are expected to be significantly delayed.
This transit plan will continue until weather and road conditions improve, which means almost all bus service will be significantly limited. Metro appreciates everyone’s patience, and reminds customers that safety for passengers and bus drivers is the agency’s No. 1 concern.
Information about bus status is available on Metro’s Ice & Snow page, but conditions are changing rapidly. You can also call the Metro Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000, but call volumes are high and there may be a wait to talk to a CIO representative.
Here’s the link to the Ice and Snow page – long list of “temporarily suspended” routes. (But note from the comments here – some WSB’ers are seeing evidence that buses on the list might be running – you can try mybus.org to check.) We’re monitoring the scanner as well as websites, TV, and radio, for word of new trouble spots or blockages, in addition to what WSB’ers are seeing and reporting in comments and e-mail. If you live on or near a major arterial and can send a photo, we’ll post it. Here’s the text of the SDOT morning report:
SDOT crews worked on major arterial streets through the night, plowing and sanding, and they continue to revisit these streets throughout the morning. Two trucks are assigned to continuously monitor and treat the high level West Seattle Bridge, and another truck is assigned to the Alaskan Way Viaduct, to keep these structures in good condition. The on-ramp at Chelan Street to the eastbound lanes of the high level West Seattle Bridge is closed at this time.
Those who must commute this morning are advised to allow plenty of time. When driving, proceed slowly and allow plenty of room from the car in front of you. The roadways with best driving conditions will be major arterial streets.
When SDOT crews work on major arterial streets, they apply sand and de-icer to the roadway where needed, especially 200 feet in advance of intersections with traffic signals to make it easier for vehicles to stop, and also on steep hills and raised structures such as bridges and viaducts.
During the night additional trucks and drivers sanded streets adjacent to hospitals and locations requested by King County Metro Transit.
We are going to take some time to look around for any previously unknown source of reliable bus info – but in the meantime, the comments below are your best bet, and everyone who’s been out – only because you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO, we trust – your updates are greatly appreciated. (Most unusual comment so far: Beware on I-5 of pieces of chains that have fallen off cars. Yikes!)
7:30 AM UPDATE: Just a reminder, we haven’t heard of any West Seattle schools that are open, so winter break is under way (rest of the region too). Road report via Facebook from Talani at Stor-More (WSB sponsor) on Yancy just off Avalon – yes, the phrase of the day, “sheet of ice.” Pic of Yancy, icy but people are trying it, she says:
On TV, KING promises an upcoming update on the situation at Sea-Tac (which normally would be crazy-busy the weekend before Christmas); we’ll keep watching for that too and are looking for the best online source of info. In comments, Kestrel has this plea:
Tip to homeowners: please do NOT shovel your sidewalks unless you are also going to sand or salt. The shoveled sidewalks are much more treacherous than the unshoveled ones because they become smooth compacted sheets of ice!
It’s true that snow – at least at this depth – is easier to walk in and on, traction-wise, provided you’re waterproofed knee-to-toe. Meantime, another kind of information that will be helpful today: If you are involved with an event that was scheduled for this weekend – and know for sure that it’s either STILL ON or CANCELED – please let us know. The original contacts for e-mails that came in to us to get events on the calendar will be tough to find otherwise; thanks. We won’t update our “Weekend Lineup” till we know for sure what venues’ plans are.
8:05 AM UPDATE: In comments, someone mentioned a Metro shuttle to get people to The Junction. We checked with Metro’s Linda Thielke about whether that would happen again today. Her reply:
We were running that shuttle Thursday pm with Access vans. But, we haven’t been able to do that yet this morning. We are trying to get some additional service on Route 22 from the Alaska junction only to downtown.
We have word of one school that’s OPEN – Tilden School is “open for those who can safely get (there),” per Julie Enevoldsen.
8:18 AM UPDATE: From Linda at Metro:
Look for Rt 51 to be operating Genesee Hill & California SW starting approximately 8:30. But, as with anything these last few days, the situation could change rapidly.
KING just drove onto The Bridge with its live car-cam, and looks OK, including the ramp (looked like the one from Admiral, though they didn’t pick up the picture until the start of the ramp). Again, if you can get a picture of a major arterial, please send to share. Here’s our contribution – California north from Thistle:
Similar scene looking east on Thistle from California:
Side streets that are steps away, of course, still inches of snow, though as mentioned in comments, where it’s compacted, it’s not too slick.
8:39 AM UPDATE: Southeast West Seattle road report from Jon: “Roxbury at 5th. Looking easy towards Myers Way. Plenty of cars going down the hill.” Photo:
Thanks – keep the arterial reports/photos coming at email@example.com Transportation update from Stephen: Microsoft Connector bus service to/from West Seattle “still not running.” Official update just in from SDOT:
Crews worked throughout the night and early this morning, plowing, sanding and applying de-icer to major arterial streets. The Chelan Street on-ramp to the eastbound lanes of the high-level West Seattle Bridge is now open. As route drivers finish primary routes this morning, they are shifting to secondary arterial streets. Due to low temperatures, crews continue monitoring the roadways and applying sand and de-icer when ice reforms.
To see a map of SDOT’s snow and ice response routes, see
Examples of major arterial streets are: NE Northgate Way, NE 65th Street in Wedgewood, 15th Avenue NW in Ballard, Magnolia Boulevard W on Magnolia Hill, Beacon Avenue S, 23rd Avenue S in the Central District, California Avenue SW in West Seattle, and Rainier Avenue S in Southeast Seattle.
Examples of secondary routes are: NW 80th Street in Ballard, N 50th Street in Wallingford, 10th Avenue W on Capitol Hill, E Union Street in the Central District, 15th Avenue S on Beacon Hill, and Lake Washington Boulevard S in Southeast Seattle.
SDOT crews plow loose snow to the center of the roadway to avoid blocking drains and driveways. Sand and de-icer are applied with special attention to spots where stopping is most challenging, including intersections with traffic signals, the curblanes at intersections, on steep hills, and on elevated structures such as bridges and viaducts.
Other priorities include requests from Metro Transit and hospitals and other emergency facilities.
SDOT crews are planning ahead for the weekend when more snow is forecast. When that
storm hits, crews will leave secondary arterial streets and once again focus on major arterial streets.
Police Officers position street barricades to close streets considered unsafe for driving. When SDOT crews plow, sand, and reopen a street, the signs are set aside, to be picked up by other SDOT crews. Drivers should observe the closure signs, as they are intended for their safety. If anyone notices a sign that has been knocked down or placed aside on an unserviced street, they may replace the sign themselves or call (206) 386-1218.
To report a problem area within the Seattle city limits, call (206) 386-1218, 24-hours a day. Although phones are busy, SDOT attendants will accept calls as they are able.
If you use Twitter, this info’s coming through at @sdotsnow (Web: twitter.com/sdotsnow). Meantime, here’s an example of a secondary street that’s not likely to make it onto the radar – Mary says Lander Place at Campbell Place (map) requires chains:
9:06 AM UPDATE: If you hadn’t already heard, King County Superior Court is closed both downtown and in Kent. Any hearings set for today will be rescheduled. (Thanks to Carole for sharing the info.) Will add to the ongoing links/info list at TOP of this post. Here’s something that might be handy – the WSDOT video on how to install tire chains:
9:20 AM: If you are looking to take a bus, Jon in comments reminds you to keep checking the Metro reroute page – he notes it just changed to say the 55 is now on its regular route (“with some delays”). Meantime, another arterial photo – JenV took this by C and P Coffee (which she reports is open) on California south of The Junction:
Bulletin just e-mailed by Robert: ICE MELT AT ADMIRAL SAFEWAY! He says it was abundant there and added, “Home Depot does not have any nor do they know when they WILL have any. Junction True Value will have a shipment coming in between 10 and 11.” Co-publisher Patrick is about to head north on California and will be checking on business open/closes in The Junction while out, as well as roads, but YOUR info is very helpful – all our contact info is here, let us know, even if you’re out and about and just call (206-293-6302) so we can relay to everybody else.
Thanks to Katherine for relaying word that Seattle Municipal Court is also closed except for certain custody proceedings. Marco sends word from 35th and Morgan:
Plenty of cars and so far one 128, 54, 56 and 21 Bus each, but none going downtown -
I’ve been waiting for an hour and will give up soon ;)
Road report from co-publisher Patrick, who just drove California from Upper Fauntleroy to Admiral: It’s in good shape except some rough going with compact snow in the 3400 to 3900 blocks (a few blocks before and after Charlestown). He’s in The Junction now to check on business status for holiday shopping today. Meantime, a holiday event POSTPONEMENT:
Sunday’s ‘Admiral Sings Christmas’ has been postponed
due to weather concerns. New date: 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 28, Admiral Congregational Church, California
Ave & Hill St. (free admission)
Also, just got word from Seattle Public Utilities that TODAY’S TRASH COLLECTION ALSO IS POSTPONED. Here’s the full update:
Single-family residential garbage, recycling, food and yard
waste collection has been delayed in Seattle today, Friday, December 19,
due to dangerous road conditions. Priority commercial customers, such as
hospitals, will be served.
City collection contractors will attempt to service today’s missed
customers tomorrow, Saturday, December 20, if road conditions improve.
Customers missed today should leave their containers out tomorrow. If
materials are not collected tomorrow, then customers should bring in
their containers until next week.
Due to the Christmas holiday, Thursday and Friday customers will be
delayed one-day next week. Thursday customers will be collected Friday,
December 26, and Friday customers will be collected Saturday, December
Customers whose collections have been delayed by a week will be permitted to set out double their normal amount of garbage at no additional charge. When setting out extra waste, customers are encouraged to place perishable food items in their collection containers and set bagged non-perishable items next to the containers.
10:18 AM UPDATE: Jefferson Square, parking lot “icy/nasty” per co-publisher but most everything looks open. Junction activity pretty busy – looks like lots of folks taking advantage of snow day to shop – he’s going back along the street to see about any closures. Easy Street breakfast crowd jampacked, no surprise.
Lots of King County facility closures – here’s the full list.
Update from Patrick, checking The Junction: LOOKS LIKE PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS. Just be careful on sidewalks – some sidewalks are in better condition than others. (One such example, the sidewalk TO Jefferson Square at 42nd/Alaska, by the time/temp sign, “sheet of ice,” says Patrick, but the sidewalks in J-Square themselves are OK.) He ran into a friend of ours who lives on Beach Drive and reports that roadway is – yes – “a sheet of ice.” Photo now from WSB Forums member LG at Charlestown/53rd – looking west:
Also packed snow/ice looking the other way. Please keep sending road pix (and sledding conditions, business open/close, event changes): firstname.lastname@example.org
10:40 AM UPDATE: From Talani at Stor-More:
Avalon and Yancy Update: Cars and buses are both driving it, but we talked to one lady who waited 1.5 hours for her bus and it never came so she gave up…so buses must be getting stuck on top somewhere. There are a few cars trying Yancy and Avalon…they report to only try it if you know how to drive in the ice and snow, and said even with 4 wheel drive, they lost control once or twice this morning and spun out. The sidewalks are too treacherous for us to hike and take pictures, and we are dealing with shoveled areas on our property having turned into sheets of ice, so we are rock salting this morning again. If your question is…”Should I travel on it?” Our answer is “No”. No, you should not drive on it, or walk on it. People are trying it, as they always do, and some are making it…but even for those with 4 wheel drive AND chains, they are STILL spinning and losing control. Your safety is just not worth the risk!
Co-publisher Patrick says SW Alaska is bumpy going east of The Junction, with compact ice and snow. He’s going to see how much of Avalon he can get a look at; we don’t have a 4WD so we’re being cautious, though.
10:49 AM UPDATE: Avalon is fine from 35th down to the bottom of the hill. The only dicey spot, he reports, is between the 7-11 and Fauntleroy. 7-11 parking lot at 35th/Avalon – yes – “a sheet of ice.” Also – Seattle Public Library branches are opening at noon. And if you haven’t seen the midmorning forecast update yet, here it is — Winter Storm Watch in effect for “Saturday afternoon through late Sunday night” for the metro area. Wind and snow expected Sunday, in particular.
11:01 AM UPDATE: Before we get to then, however — so far, Dinah at The Admiral Theater tells us, THE HOLIDAY MAGIC SHOW TOMORROW IS STILL ON. If anything changes that, you will read it here; they are rehearsing right now, in fact. 11 am (should be BEFORE more bad weather), read more about it here (disclosure, they’re advertising on us to promote the show). Also, Rachel at ArtsWest says PLAID TIDINGS SHOWS ARE ON AS SCHEDULED – in her words, “the show must go on!”
11:09 AM UPDATE: Ferry closed from California, says KOMO TV reporter. (Not surprised.) Also: An icy trouble spot, and road condition, report from Dan – 18th SW is closed between Brandon and Dawson (map), and here’s why:
Looks like a house water line broke. SPU’s been on scene since at least 9:30. The unfortunate thing is that 18th SW is one of two main access routes to the area. People will need to come from the south by Sanislo school (from Sylvan Way or from 16th SW) or across 21st SW and then down the steeper part of Brandon from 21st to 18th.
As to the arterial report, SW Dawson is sanded between 21st and 16th Ave SW, so it seems passable. I don’t know about the descent to Delridge (past 22nd SW on to SW Oregon), though. 18th Ave SW is
compact snow and ice, so it’s passable, but doesn’t have the sandy goodness of the other streets.
Side note from Patrick’s trip along California, by the way: Best-looking parking lot is at PCC.
11:35 AM UPDATE: Adding some of the photos he took – first, Jefferson Square parking lot less than an hour ago:
Same time frame, here’s 35th looking south/uphill from Avalon junction:
Walk All Ways at The Junction:
Looking north onto 42nd from Alaska:
West Seattle Facility & Fauntleroy Facility are open with limited programs today. Both will close at 5 pm tonight.
12:01 PM UPDATE: We will launch the afternoon post somewhere around 1 pm – all additional notes will continue here till then. Just heard from Brian Judd: “High Point and Delridge Community Centers will close at 4 p.m. today. All programs, including Late Night, are canceled tonight.” We are also adding notes like that at the VERY TOP of this post, above the top photo, and will carry that over when we switch to an afternoon note (which will be preceded by at least one “other news” post).
12:18 PM UPDATE: The West Seattle Farmers’ Market has been CANCELED FOR THIS SUNDAY, 12/22.
12:22 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Matthew Lundh for these two pix of arterials – first, Charlestown looking east from 50th:
Next, Genesee looking west from 47th:
12:29 PM QUESTION: Anybody on Fauntleroy near the ferry dock/Lincoln Park? Haven’t heard a report on that yet today, and someone is asking in the comment section.
12:36 PM: Allstar Fitness is open till 3 pm, according to the comments section.
12:44 PM: Got some additional city info forwarded to us by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. From this we learn that the Delridge Neighborhood Services Center is closed but West Seattle (in The Junction) is open. Also, a little more info on that 18th/Brandon water break mentioned (with a photo) above (this is a quote from a city emergency briefing):
There was an 8” water main break at 18th Ave SW & SW Dawson St. The concern is that is adjacent to an underground high voltage line. Currently coordinating with City Light on the issue. 50 home are without water and there is not an estimated time for restoration.
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