West Seattle snow: Sunday afternoon updates

(this post covered the weather situation from noon till 5 pm – follow this link to find Sunday night updates – thanks!)

Starting a new post. Tons of info in the morning post, so if you haven’t read that already, start there, but please add new comments here (and e-mail us photos). Now, the latest: Jana called to say that Thistle is closed at 35th to the top of the hill (heading west). 35th/Roxbury has a stalled bus. The photo above is from The Goulds on Barton in Fauntleroy, who report:

Barton Street is an ice rink. Barton St, between the Ferry Dock and 35th is a graveyard of buses – 4 of the Route 54s and one Sound Transit 560. Buses were sent out this morning with no chains, some sort of bad call by Metro Transit authorities. Drivers indicate there are only two trucks for all of King County that can rescue the buses and get chains put on them. Some folks can get up and down Barton, others cannot and give it up. Success seems to be tire and driver skill related. We have seen all 4 wheels on some 4-wheel drives spinning.

Here’s another one of their photos:

They promised to try to walk to Westwood Village to see how things are there. 12:22 PM UPDATE: Heather has provided some photos from Alki – first, Alki Ave doesn’t look much better than the roads in higher areas of West Seattle:

Another angle:

Seattle Public Utilities has just sent a news release headed “Coldest Weather in 18 Years Forecast, Take Steps Now to Protect Pipes From Freezing.” We’ll upload the news release as a PDF here in a minute if we can’t find a link on the city website. (Here it is.) Editorializing now, that is the FIRST official communication we have received from local governments all morning. Maybe there’s a media list we’ve missed being on. But media lists aside, the websites are not updated (just look at seattle.gov). Can’t someone at least be updating them from home? Good business for us, but we would much rather have Web/RSS/Twitter/etc. access to official info to filter for you and link to – WSDOT is something of a trendsetter in that regard. In our old-media days, many of us were under orders to get to work even if we had to walk, to get TV and Web coverage going. 12:49 PM UPDATE: Looks like sanding/plowing may have made some progress – check the latest “live” picture from the Fauntleroy/Alaska traffic camera (looking to the northeast):

Remember, the WSB Traffic page has screengrabs of all the West Seattle-area traffic cams (and related ones on I-5, 99, etc.) – find it here. As for other areas – not so lucky. This just in from Julie:

We live on Admiral Way and 53rd. Admiral is a mess. There have been no snow plows this side of California Way on Admiral and it’s a sheet of ice. Drivers are attempting it and either getting stuck or rethinking and turning back down the hill. We had planned to go to the grocery store and tried to go out in it but about 6 cars were stopped or stuck in various parts of the road. According to the city snow plow map, they only service Admiral up to California Ave, and not West.

ANOTHER EVENT CANCELLATION: The Esoterics concert at Holy Rosary is cancelled. It was scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm. We’ll also add that to the “events canceled/happening” post we’ve been keeping. AN EVENT STILL HAPPENING: If you are able to get to The Junction SAFELY (walking, perhaps?) – Santa is on hand at Cupcake Royale as planned – for photos, with donations to benefit local nonprofits – till 4 pm. (More info on the West Seattle Junction [WSB sponsor] website.)1:03 PM UPDATE: An explanation from County Executive Ron Sims himself on what’s up with the lack of bus info online – We sent a message via Twitter (which he uses quite avidly) to ask why no updated bus info on the Web; he said “Our network went down” and, they’re fixing it. 1:08 PM UPDATE: Another snow hazard, just described on the scanner – location unknown, may not be West Seattle but certainly could happen here – blowing snow suddenly falling from branches, roofs, awnings, etc. So walkers beware as well. (We see this happening in our back yard right now, in fact.) Also – JayDee is back from a trip to PCC and sent photos (we’ll post in a moment), as well as saying, “Overall, I don’t understand why people are driving. The 51 I took home was fishtailing and if he’d had to stop on the hill the driver said ‘If I stop on the hill, I am spending the night on the bus’.” First photo’s from 55th/Spokane:

This one, 56th SW near Schmitz Park:

Another photo to add – this one’s from David Hutchinson, who took it at Don Armeni, where the Christmas Ship is due at 7:10 pm tonight:

1:21 PM UPDATE: Looks like Metro’s website is indeed now offering updated information – here’s the bus-problems page. If your route is on a “reroute,” here’s the link again with the map of all such snow/ice routes. (That’s from our early morning post with a long list of helpful links – see it here if you missed it.) A new comment says Hanford is closed east of California (map). 1:45 PM UPDATE: Just went out to watch the California/Thistle plateau intersection. Lots of turning around from people reaching it and looking eastward up the Thistle hill. A smidge of video shortly. (Scanner has somebody totally stuck further east on Thistle, at 36th, calling for a tow truck. Update – that may be a bus – Jana called to say one is stuck around Thistle/41st, which is where the 22 usually turns to head north.) Meantime, scanner reports complaint of people riding motorcycles (ATV’s?) on the sidewalk on northbound California at Fauntleroy. Great. Also, another Morgan Hill update from Pamela McCarty: “It is not sanded or plowed. I have lived by here for 10 years and have never seen it closed. 35th is sanded and plowed and saw a 21 bus pick up going north (with no chains) at 1:09.” Photo, taken two blocks west of 35th:

We’ve had a suggestion we post some fun photos too. How about video? This was uploaded to YouTube by Jeff Johnson, who sent us the link:

And from Darren Pilon in Arbor Heights, a dog who looks quite at home in the snow, his American Eskimo named Abby:

2:07 PM UPDATE: The good news for those of us here in Upper Fauntleroy is, there seems to be a snowplow pointed west on Thistle. The bad news is – there’s a Sound Transit bus sideways blocking its progress (thanks to Jana for the phone tip on this):

2:21 PM UPDATE: And another break for a “cute kid in snow” photo – this one’s from Admiral

As for the roads – update from Mona, who’s in Arbor Heights, stuck behind 2 stalled buses at 35th/106th (map) – she also sent this photo:

If you’re just joining us, remember to read the comments too – lots of great info there and while we will repost major items (road closure reports, etc.) here in the main post, that doesn’t cover anything. Meantime, here’s even more about the Arbor Heights situation (and vicinity), from MargL:

Just walked up to the intersection of 106th and 35th in Arbor Heights. Talked to a Metro 21 bus driver (pic attached) who said he’d been stuck at the intersection since about 8AM. He estimated that last 21 that got thru was probably around 10AM. He’s waiting for his supervisor to bring some chains and enjoying the circus show of folks trying to get around the corner from 35th AVE to SW 106th. We were both pretty surprised bus maintenance decided not to chain the buses this morning given the advance weather reports and the condition of the roads. 106th heading east toward White Center is a sheet of ICE. Saw many many cars fishtailing and skidding down the hills and one delivery truck stuck sideways on the curb. Saw no evidence of plowing or sanding anywhere. On the walk home also spotted a Seattle Public Utilities employee on a service call to a house – but it wasn’t a power outage, just some low hanging wires.

Photo:

2:31 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Hopey for sending the Metro real-time bus tracker link, which she says appears to be up to date (find it here). Meanwhile, Cathy Woo sent some pix from Alki including a snow-o-saur and snow family:

2:49 PM UPDATE: Speaking of families, the question has come up: What about school tomorrow? From old-media experience, we can say that the call sometimes isn’t made till very early morning – Seattle Public Schools, for example, sends a bus around to test the routes. However, given that you can kind of tell NOW what tomorrow morning’s going to be like, perhaps a decision will be reached sooner. One good place to watch (we’ll watch too) is the “emergency messages” page on schoolreport.org, which has member school districts (and some private schools) all over the region that report in. If you are a West Seattle or White Center private school and you DON’T report to SchoolReport.org, we invite you to call or e-mail us (all WSB contact info is here) when you make your decision and we’ll be happy to post it tonight/tomorrow (and of course beyond). On another note – 911 dispatch is sending two engines to 34th/106th, close to scene of the bus photos above, for a “motor-vehicle accident” call. ADDED 3:03 PM: Well, there’s more trouble, a “heavy rescue” dispatch to northbound I-5 – car into guard rail 200 yards before the West Seattle Bridge exit. Will monitor. Meantime, Vanessa is back home on Alki after a trip to LA and sent some photos from her return, including a view from the airplane window, followed by The Bridge (with heavy sanding evidence):

If anyone travels the Roxbury-to-Olson-to-509 airport route later today (or has already been), we’ve got at least one person in WSB-land who really needs to know the latest for that area, for a trip later tonight. Switching gears, another sledding video from Jeff Johnson:

3:15 PM UPDATE: The iced arterials near WSB HQ have finally gotten some sanding/plowing love – suddenly there arose such a clatter, we looked out the front window to see what was the matter, then what to our eyes did appear but:

A moment ago, it took off northbound on California, same way it’s pointed in that photo. (For the other side of the weather spectrum, this link just appeared in our Twitter feed: LA’s expecting an inch of rain tonight/tomorrow. 4:06 PM UPDATE: Back from a neighborhood walk to see how things are out there. Neighborhood kids/parents are sledding; e-mail reminds us that sledding in the street can be very dangerous if the street’s not closed (we just saw one close call ourselves). Also got word that the “Morgan hill” between 35th and Fauntleroy Way is open again — technically — Cindi Barker from the Morgan Community Association says, “the signs are now down but the conditions are only improved a little and will become icy again as the temperature falls,” so avoid that area anyway. Also from the inbox, a short news release from SDOT:

SDOT crews worked throughout last night and through today, Sunday, on major arterial city streets. Many sea-level streets remained bare and wet, but streets at higher elevations, on hills, and in shaded areas were icy. Crews used 18 vehicles to apply de-icer and sand as needed.

Crews are working on 12-hour shifts. The forecast for tonight calls for continued low temperatures. Night crews will replace day crews and will continue with 18 vehicles to patrol streets and treat as needed. As the night progresses, crews will focus on preparing streets for the Monday morning commute.

Got a Twitter message from Melanie that a plow was recently spotted heading westbound on Admiral. And another “Morgan hill” update from Cindi – it JUST got sanded. 4:22 PM: Going back through the inbox to make sure we didn’t miss anything big. We did miss an Admiral update from Bree hours ago, but this advice in her note still stands:

Also, can you please remind drivers to pay extra special attention when driving on ice. This morning I almost got rear-ended twice, first a guy on his cell phone was trying to go the speed limit and was following me way too close. The second time it was a couple of kids on Admiral who were going too fast and then slammed on his brakes, scary!

Nancy Folsom also sent an update on the Delridge group in this morning’s Jingle Bell Run downtown:

Some of the Delridge team had to bow out to colds and minor (we hope) surgery. But a few of us made it downtown for the run. It was fun. I don’t know how many people usually attend but it sure seemed jam packed for each event. It was particularly silly fun when we entered the first tunnel and the crowd broke out into song. “Jingle Bells,” of course, at full strength. Who cares if it was just one chorus over and over?

The only hard part was waiting for the return buses which we guessed were held up to due to weather or road conditions in West Seattle. Yea Metro drivers for getting people around town safely in these icy conditions!

4:36 PM UPDATE: Heads up that after 5 pm or so, we will start a “Sunday night” post – like this one, the Sunday morning version, and the Saturday night version – but for now, a few more things. Josh Sutton from the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor) sends word on their schedule:

WS YMCA will close early at 6 pm tonight (no evening Yoga or Volleyball). Fauntleroy YMCA closes at 5 pm (normal). WS Y will be open at normal time (5:30am), but likely that many classes & programs won’t be running in early am – depending on instructor’s ability to get there. Fauntleroy will be wait & see, but likely open by 6 am. Status of our school-based programs will be based upon School District decision (if closed, we’re closed, etc).

No word yet on school; as mentioned earlier, you can watch schoolreport.org and, for Seattle Public Schools, their home page. Also — MAYBE some more snow in the hours to come – from the midafternoon “forecast discussion”:

FORECASTING DETAILS OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS HAS BEEN DIFFICULT TO NEAR IMPOSSIBLE. TODAY MOISTURE WRAPPING AROUND AN UPPER LOW OFFSHORE THAT IS MOVING SOUTHWARD HAS MADE IT UP TO TACOMA-SHELTON-HOQUIAM. AS A RESULT…THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN EXTENDED OVER SOUTHERN LOWLAND LOCATIONS UNTIL 10 PM THIS EVENING. THE AIR MASS SEATTLE NORTHWARD IS DRY. ALSO…PRESSURE GRADIENTS ARE INCREASINGLY NORTHERLY. THAT COMBINATION ALONG WITH ALL GUIDANCE WOULD STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT SNOW SHOWERS MAKING IT FARTHER NORTH THAN IT ALREADY IS WILL NOT GIVE ACCUMULATIONS. WHAT IS TROUBLING IS THAT RADAR AND SATELLITE CONTINUE TO SHOW MOISTURE STREAMING NORTHWARD INTO WHAT APPEARS TO BE A DEVELOPING DEFORMATION ZONE WRAPPING INTO THE OFFSHORE LOW. IF THIS FEATURE MAKES IT FARTHER NORTH AND STALLS…HEAVIER AMOUNTS COULD OCCUR IN PLACES LIKE HOQUIAM…SHELTON…OLYMPIA…AND EVEN UP TO SEATTLE. WE WILL BE MONITORING SATELLITE AND RADAR CAREFULLY OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL HOURS.

Via Twitter, Pam from Nerd’s Eye View forwarded a link to this ominous-looking radar “blob” of wetness appearing to be heading this way. 4:52 PM UPDATE: Just pointed out in comments – Lander is closed below Admiral. Also, a question was posed in comments re: the condition of Barton between 35th and Fauntleroy Church (WSB sponsor), where there’s a choir concert in an hour — Pigeonmom just noted it’s “fine … just go slow.” Switching locations – before we move on to evening coverage, two views of the Alki Statue of Liberty in the snow; one from Amy, who had insomnia last night and decided to go see the snow at Alki; second one, from David Hutchinson earlier today:

72 Replies to "West Seattle snow: Sunday afternoon updates"

  • Karen December 14, 2008 (12:09 pm)

    Are things getting any better up Admiral? I should be at work, but I’m afraid to attempt the drive up.

  • AD December 14, 2008 (12:20 pm)

    Anyone know how is Genesee Hill is?

  • Sue December 14, 2008 (12:22 pm)

    My husband just called me. He walked from here (Fauntleroy/Dawson) up to the Masons hall for church, and is now continuing to the junction. He said everything is a sheet of ice and advised me to stay in. He’s an ice hockey referree, so he isn’t fazed by walking on ice. I, on the other hand, want to just bury my head under my comforter for the next week. :)

  • celeste17 December 14, 2008 (12:22 pm)

    Karen, doubt they are any better. It seems West Seattle is an after thought when it comes to snow plows and de-icing.

  • pam December 14, 2008 (12:23 pm)

    we’ve been watching the cars slowly slide west on holden towards the stop sign at california and holden for the better part of the morning. folks are taking it nice a slow, which is good, but there’s lots of unplanned skating towards the intersection. we hope everyone takes it very easy turning on to holden from cali because that’s right where the ice starts.

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (12:36 pm)

    Karen, somebody headed home from out of the area said Admiral was still quite treacherous around Alki Mail and Dispatch a short time ago – TR

  • David December 14, 2008 (12:36 pm)

    SW Thistle (which normally is the best snow route in my area beacuse of it’s modest inclines) is currently a boneyard of cars at approximatly 26th Ave SW (even the slightest inclines are causing issues on the secondary streets it seems). I also saw three Metro 22’s trapped at Trenton and 26th Ave SW approx two hours ago.

  • Alan December 14, 2008 (12:53 pm)

    Holden Street between Delridge and 35th is also very icy and dangerous, multiple cars have tried to go up the hill and slid right back down. I even watched a police car struggle to make it to the crest. I recommend an alternate route.

  • Aim December 14, 2008 (12:55 pm)

    Kids sledding down Trenton westbound toward Delridge. If you decide to drive, please be extra cautious at intersections and whatnot. So few cars out, that kids aren’t watching very carefully. You;ll have to watch for them.

  • Matt December 14, 2008 (12:58 pm)

    How bout Admiral? Can we get out of W. Seattle. I need to get to the airport.

  • JenV December 14, 2008 (12:58 pm)

    the BF just let here (36th/Dakota) and drove up 35th to Barton. Said it was solid ice, and everyone is driving like total idiots. Any idea on if we’re going to get some roads cleared up before tomorrow?

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (12:59 pm)

    Re: Admiral, I’ve just added one report on that and e-mail has another I will add.

  • Marge Carpenter December 14, 2008 (1:02 pm)

    Posted this on the AM version first:

    Larry asked me to relay the message that the Log House Museum will be closed today (12n-4pm) because of the weather and no staff availability.

    Marge Carpenter

  • Christy December 14, 2008 (1:02 pm)

    Morgan is treacherous. Between 40th and 38th, there are not one, but TWO stalled buses. Cars without 4WD having a hard time getting up the hill.

    Noticed spotty sheets of ice all around Morgan Junction.

  • D December 14, 2008 (1:04 pm)

    Admiral is slightly better as it seemed to have warmed up a bit. Not as many cars sliding out of control. Please be careful though and watch out for all the walkers out there!

  • Christy December 14, 2008 (1:05 pm)

    Matt, I just came home from the Airport. Faunteleroy from Morgan Junction to the Bridge is actually pretty ok. I did notice just a bit of ice on the bridge.

  • Allison Carver December 14, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    Hey guys, we headed to Greenlake this morning from Alki. It was very icy on Alki & Harbor (even with 4-wheel drive … we didn’t even attempt to go up and over Admiral). Once to the bridge, everything was sanded & fine (Aurora, too). Coming back at noon, the roads around Alki were still icy.

  • Eric B December 14, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    In walking around Genesee Hill in the last hour, I found it treacherous on foot – I couldn’t believe the few cars I saw were driving around. It does seem to be melting a bit on south facing streets, but plenty of ices around still. I was nearly run over by a 4WD truck gunning _up_ Genesee at 50th – I think he was afraid that if he slowed he wouldnt make it to the top of the hill.

  • s December 14, 2008 (1:24 pm)

    hanford st east of california is closed…there isnt a sign, just yellow police tape stretched from one light pole to another. i dont know how far up it is closed. i would assume at the top of the hill at walnut st.

  • Venkat December 14, 2008 (1:30 pm)

    Great coverage WSB – as always.

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (1:30 pm)

    Thanks – we had reported in morning coverage that the city ran out of snow-closure signs, so that’s probably what was hapening there.

  • GenHillOne December 14, 2008 (1:36 pm)

    LOL, nice Twitter up there – ya think?! (re: Metro going out without chains)

  • Sue December 14, 2008 (1:37 pm)

    My husband just called from Uptown Espresso in the Junction. He said a plow just passed on California going northbound about 5 minutes ago, with blade up so it wasn’t plowing, and not laying sand or anything. I just saw one going southbound on Fauntleroy, also not plowing or sanding. Well, at least the existence of the snow plows isn’t a myth, although I hear they’d be a lot more useful if they actually plowed or sanded.

  • Pam December 14, 2008 (1:41 pm)

    Morgan street is closed – it is not plowed or sanded. But, 35th SW is plowed and sanded now – 21 bus was getting around fine at Morgan cross street, but no chains. Doesn’t seem to be a 120 running down Morgan, and the bus website does not show it is canceled or rerouted

    Also, 36th Ave SW is solid ice from Morgan up. And kids are sledding down the middle of the street – hopefully stopping before Morgan!!

  • Cathy Henkel December 14, 2008 (1:43 pm)

    Just walked to Alki Beach (60th, 63rd area); roads are decent, folks are going slow, which is advisable. Most restaurants are open (but not Sunfish) but very few people there. Urban Market is open for necessities until 10 p.m. for us lower Admiral residents who don’t want to attempt the hill.

  • Jenny December 14, 2008 (1:45 pm)

    We’ve seen snow plow actually plowing on Admiral east of Cali. It has also appeared to be laying down sand or something. And, just in the past hour, we’ve seen some buses going both east and west. The most recent one was a 54.

  • Jenny December 14, 2008 (1:49 pm)

    I meant 56 (fingers still cold).

  • nuni December 14, 2008 (1:51 pm)

    Thanks for the update Pam, we can probably go fetch our car now from 35th/Morgan junction!

  • cathy December 14, 2008 (1:51 pm)

    This morning I watched a car attempt to head up towards Genesee Hill from the stop sign at Spokane Street. He tried 4 times and slid back down each time. He finally gave up, turned around and headed back down toward Admiral Way. Not a good way to get to the Junction from Alki. Have to go by way of Admiral.

    There used to be a few “Road Closed” signs which were distributed in our neighborhood at the beginning of each winter season. When the bad weather came, the signs were right there and ready to be put in the streets with the worst hills. Haven’t seen anything like that here this year.

  • nuni December 14, 2008 (1:52 pm)

    not junction..just intersection :)

  • add December 14, 2008 (1:52 pm)

    There is a sign at 35th & Morgan saying the road is closed, but apparently not at the bottom of the hill – cars keep trying to drive up and are failing consistently, ending up finally turning around and parking.

  • LA in the Junction December 14, 2008 (2:00 pm)

    Well, heck. We made a poor choice and tried to come down the hill on California into the Morgan Junction — thought that would be better than the ice rink of 35th. We were wrong. We spun out and fortunately missed the other cars before ending up the wrong way halfway up the hill. Four other cars weren’t so lucky, there was a bit of a fender bender just in front of us. We were able to get the car out of traffic and to the curb but being ON the hill, we couldn’t get up or down without sliding. So we did something we’ve never done…parked it, left it, and walked the 1.5 miles home. I’m sending happy thoughts for other drivers out there..please don’t hit my car! And avoid California south of Morgan.

  • Kim December 14, 2008 (2:01 pm)

    Does anyone know how the roxbury hill is? The one that leads down to 509?

  • nuni December 14, 2008 (2:03 pm)

    We should have bought chains a few days ago. Lame.

  • mark December 14, 2008 (2:04 pm)

    Any word on conditions/photos at Westwood Village? I am at 41st & Rose hoping to get out to Target to pick up some baby wipes and other items. Sounds like 35th to Barton is still an icy issue.

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (2:11 pm)

    Kim – I heard scanner traffic a short time ago about trouble at Roxbury/Myers so I doubt it’s in any better shape. Mark – I haven’t heard from Westwood but from where you are at, I think the main problem would be getting down to 35th …

  • cami December 14, 2008 (2:30 pm)

    Tracy, any word on schools tomorrow?

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man December 14, 2008 (2:36 pm)

    It’s been entertaining watching (this is being generous) “silly” people trying to drive up the top of Graham street where it joins California. One guy had to get out and literally push his car around with the help of a bystander (who even took a header for his efforts). Why even bother driving on this stuff? I mean, it’s sheet ice. I have a 4×4 and it’s staying put. Snow is one thing. Ice is ice. Tomorrow’s commute is going to be interesting, for sure. Hope they get some chains on the 54s or we’re screwed.

    Chuck

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (2:36 pm)

    Generally they won’t announce this early. We will start checking SPS frequently tonight though (nothing on its website now, nor on schoolreport.org). I’ll add the links in the main post so people can bookmark. When snow is iffy they actually don’t make the drive till 4 am to make the call but I would honestly say they should be able to make the call NOW.

  • Michael December 14, 2008 (2:52 pm)

    Does anyone know why a ship down in the terminal has been sounding off its horn for the last hour?

  • Caitlin December 14, 2008 (2:58 pm)

    My boyfriend and I tried to get out to go get some more food and we didn’t even get a block away!

    Does anyone know if driving conditions are going to be getting better? What about for those of us trying to go out of town for Christmas?

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (3:01 pm)

    It’s supposed to warm up past freezing at some point next week. How soon are you leaving town?

  • L December 14, 2008 (3:03 pm)

    Just walked back from the Alaska Junction on Erskine headed south to 48th. Saw a bunch of cars get stuck going up the hill and then sliding backwards.

  • Caitlin December 14, 2008 (3:12 pm)

    Christmas eve.

  • Dustin December 14, 2008 (3:15 pm)

    Shorewood is still pretty bad. King County road workers have closed off 107th st west bound at 22nd Ave (right were it S curves to the right then goes straight turning into 106th). All of the streets between 16th Ave. SW and 35 Ave. SW are bad since they all drop down into that little valley. Luckily we had chains on hour little car or we never would have made it out. Lots of stranded cars (SUVs and Large Trucks included in that mix).

  • Ken December 14, 2008 (3:15 pm)

    The report from my short foray:

    Stay home.

    I had to go out since I ran out of coffee…

    But any street that is not sanded or salted is just going to be ice. I can drive in it ok but I am afraid of the idiots I saw in my short exploration.

    I drove a cab in Boston 3-4 months each year on packed ice and it made possible some maneuvers that are physically impossible under normal conditions. But even a 4wd can not create friction where there is none.

    Another sad reality is that most of the roads are not going to improve under the current SDOT plan. Seattle snow removal plan always counts on that rain and 45 degree weather that usually follows a snow.

    It doesn’t look encouraging.

  • LRM December 14, 2008 (3:15 pm)

    I am Cafe Rozellas everything is fine here full house fire place goning on ,everyone enjoying a cup of Joe :)

  • Big Al (No, Not THAT One) December 14, 2008 (3:16 pm)

    35th and Barton is moving — its been sanded. As for the hill down to the ferry terminal, though, it may still be pretty slick.

  • Ken December 14, 2008 (3:20 pm)

    Also note to walkers.

    Walgreen’s on 35th: parking lot is ripe for a lawsuit fall. Even the sidewalk is refrozen melt and damn near invisible.

    Then again my house has the only bare and dry sidewalk I have seen today but I swept it as soon as the snow stopped.

  • pinky December 14, 2008 (3:23 pm)

    I have jury duty tomorrow in Kent…anyone know about how I check that? Anyone know how bad the roads are off I-5 down there?

  • LA in the Junction December 14, 2008 (3:28 pm)

    I can report that California is now plowed/sanded, all the way south of Morgan and up the hill. Operation car rescue was a success!

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (3:31 pm)

    Thanks, that would be likely partly thanks to the truck that we photographed a short time ago … Pretty scary that it took literally all day to get here, and this is an alleged arterial. But better than not at all!

  • Aim December 14, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    pinky: You have my sympathy. I served on a major double homicide case two years ago. It was… interesting. :)

    From http://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/superiorcourt/juror.aspx
    “In Case of Inclement Weather
    In case of inclement weather, please contact the Superior Court emergency information line for the court facility where you are expected to report. For the King County Courthouse (Seattle), call 206-296-9100. For the Regional Justice Center (Kent), call 206-205-2501.”

  • AD December 14, 2008 (3:38 pm)

    To the idiot driving in donuts on 55th and Genesee at aprox. 3pm: Is your fun worth yours/others life or damage to property?????

  • jbar December 14, 2008 (3:40 pm)

    My folks headed home to Tacoma about an hour ago from WS — they just called — it’s snowing like crazy at the Tacoma Mall and is stickng to the highway.

  • Caitlin December 14, 2008 (3:43 pm)

    Do you think driving out of town will be doable by Christmas Eve?

  • P December 14, 2008 (3:43 pm)

    I work at a coffee shop in the U district that is also a “potty stop” for metro drivers and the stories I am hearing today! Just the insane drives alone are something else. At any rate, I asked about the chains and they said that they take off with they are supposed to chains or not. Something about the way the scheduling is done. I guess there is no overtime to get extra techs in so that chains can be added to the busses. Not looking forward to my trip home tonight! And I5 was dry and the U district is dry. NOt much snow up here.

  • BG December 14, 2008 (3:46 pm)

    jbar, thanks for the update on Tacoma, I work in Tacoma and have to head their in the morning, and I am not looking forward to it.

  • hopey December 14, 2008 (3:52 pm)

    My husband just did a recon drive around Arbor Heights, especially 106th. (He was scouting alternate routes to the airport from our house.) He said most of Arbor Heights is compacted snow now turned into ice. Very slick, very dangerous.

  • datamuse December 14, 2008 (3:57 pm)

    I work in Tacoma too, though if conditions are really bad tomorrow I can call in.

    I just got back from a stroll around Highland Park. The closure sign was still up at Highland Park Way but cars were coming up the hill, so it’s at least clear enough that traffic can get up it.

    9th Ave is fairly clear but the side streets are messy, I saw a couple of near spinouts and a truck jumped a curb and nearly hit a stop sign.

    Also met a couple of police officers on horseback, they said the roads were too icy to take the trailer out so they were riding around the neighborhood instead. Kids were really excited, it was fun to watch.

  • Keith December 14, 2008 (3:59 pm)

    Fan club alert: just got home about an hour ago from a weekend in Leavenworth (snowed up there too!) and when coming off the bridge on to Fauntleroy I noticed that someone had carved out ‘WSB’ on the snow-covered windshield of a car.

  • Sue December 14, 2008 (4:02 pm)

    Big rave to my husband – he just attempted to shovel a path from my front door, across Dawson, across the crosswalk on Fauntleroy, back across Dawson and along the bus stop so I could get to the bus in the morning. Some of it he simply couldn’t get because it was too icy, but I appreciate the effort – he rocks!

  • Carole December 14, 2008 (4:08 pm)

    Pinky: To find out about closure of the RJC in Kent call 206-205-2501. Any change in schedule will be posted there. Often the decision is made early morning (3-4am), similar to school closure decisions. Direct # to jury room is 206-205-2591. I work at the RJC and will be watching closely while I figure out which hill (from Calif north of the Junction) Admiral is least likely to be the “worst.”

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (4:16 pm)

    Thanks for the sighting report, Keith … although we should note that West Seattle Bowl and WestSide Baby were using the acronym long before we arrived on the scene :)

  • Lucy December 14, 2008 (4:23 pm)

    Has anyone been down Barto to the ferry terminal? We want to go to church concert but are unsure of how slick Barton is.

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (4:31 pm)

    Someone earlier in this comment thread mentioned it had been sanded.

  • fiz December 14, 2008 (4:45 pm)

    Please don’t try to drive your little fuel-efficient car UP Erskine! Five of you littering the roadway in three blocks is too dangerous for you and everyone else. Unless it’s an emergemcy, please stay home.

  • Anne December 14, 2008 (4:49 pm)

    Thanks for all the hard work, WSB and fellow posters. Just a heads up that Lander Street below Admiral is closed and y’all should take that seriously–I live mid-hill and so far have counted seven spinouts or mild fender crunches from people who’ve ignored the sign, and then hit the ice and can’t stop. Go the long way–it’ll be much safer!

  • pigeonmom December 14, 2008 (4:51 pm)

    35th to ferry dock on Barton was fine, just go slow.

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (5:26 pm)

    We’ve now moved to a new “Sunday night updates” post so please add comments there – thank you again to EVERYONE!
    http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=12683

  • CarolPB December 14, 2008 (5:36 pm)

    Anyone been on Delridge? i have to go from Highland Park to Queen Anne Hill tomorrow-i know what you are thinking-but if no improvement, I will stay home!

  • Karen December 22, 2008 (8:34 am)

    Anyone know of a snow removal service? We are in Gatewood Hill.

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