West Seattle snow and ice: Friday afternoon-evening updates


(Carryover photo from the morning – courtesy Dan – 18th/Brandon/Dawson 8″ water-main break, 50 homes without service; late-afternoon update from Dan, OPEN AGAIN)

1:26 PM UPDATE: From Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor), word that they’re in till about 3:30 pm today – had hoped to be open Sunday but with the next storm, they have revised plans and will be open TOMORROW (Saturday 12/20), 11 am-5 pm. If you have appointments in the days ahead, call 24-our line 938-3675 “to let us know if they are able to get here safely, and to leave messages if they wish to schedule appointments. We will notify those with appointments already scheduled if they need to be adjusted,” says Heather at Illusions, adding they still plan to be open 9 am-9 pm Mon-Tues, and Tues is the annual Open House with “goodies throughout the day and other fun stuff.” Then they’re closed for the holiday AFTER Tuesday 12/23, till 9 am 12/29.

Wondering about the forecast? Ricardo pointed out on partner site White Center Now that well-known meteorologist Cliff Mass has updated his prediction. And it still sounds … a bit scary. Be ready for possible power outages, in addition to the wintriness we’re all used to after the past week.

And as the afternoon progresses, new photos of major arterials are helpful for those driving home from work — we’ll start, looking north on Thistle from California:

We’re taking the mobile newsroom on the road for a while so we’ll have more road reports a bit later. Meantime, speaking of that next storm, a REALLY IMPORTANT reminder from King County Public Health:

High winds forecast this weekend may lead to power outages in some parts of King County . Given the cold temperatures, Public Health advises all residents to take steps to stay safe and warm and especially to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

“We can’t predict which neighborhoods if any may lose power, so we want to encourage all residents of King County to have a plan about how to stay warm and safe during adverse weather,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County . “If possible today, stock up on supplies you may need during the weekend and think about how you will stay warm and safe during a possible outage.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill you Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by never using a gas or charcoal grill, hibachi, or portable propane heater to cook indoors or heat your home. Carbon monoxide gas comes from burning fuels such as gasoline, propane, oil, kerosene, natural gas, coal or wood and can cause injury or death.

· During a power outage or at any other time, do not operate fuel-powered machinery such as a generator indoors, including the garage
· Do not cook or heat with charcoal barbeques inside your home
· Avoid combustion “space heaters” unless there is an exhaust vent

Carbon monoxide poisoning can strike suddenly and without warning. In some cases, physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include splitting headache, nausea and vomiting, and lethargy and fatigue. If you believe you could be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Call for medical help from a neighbor’s home. The Fire Department will tell you when it is safe to reenter the home.

For a full list of carbon monoxide prevention tips and other safety and disaster information in English and other languages, visit www.kingcounty.gov/health/disaster.

2:10 PM UPDATE: From comments – a route that hadn’t been reported much yet:

I can see Fauntleroy traffic just north of the Ferry Dock from my window. Traffic is moving north and south at a reduced speed, thankfully, but seems to be operating without problems.

We’re in The Junction at the moment. Lots of people out. California’s a little compact snow/ice/bumpy from the bottom of the Gatewood hill toward here, but certainly passable. Just one request – once you start moving, please be slow and steady. People are pulling over thinking they’re doing the right thing, but that’s actually more dangerous, and unsettles those driving past.

2:22 PM UPDATE: Thanks SO MUCH to Alice Enevoldsen, who has taken the info that people have provided and created an UNOFFICIAL Google Map to current state of West Seattle road quality:

View Larger Map

Here’s the link to it directly if you want to see it in the Google environment. THANKS, ALICE! And thanks to Scott C for sending this photo of the Roxbury Safeway parking lot:

WJG also sends this potentially helpful anecdote:

My wife and I came downstairs this morning to find that the furnace had shut off and the thermostat was blank (no power). I assumed that the thermostats had gone bad and needed to be replaced. I started calling around to purchase one. I called and spoke with Murphy at Brennan Heating and Air Conditioning. He suggested that I check the condensate line for the furnace. (The condensate or water is the result of combustion and may be set up to drain on the exterior of your home). Murphy explained that the condensate would freeze in the line and the backup of condensate/water would activate a sensor or switch which prevented the furnace from entering the heating cycle. After checking the line at his suggestion and spending 30 seconds with my wife’s hair dryer blowing warm air into the line, my furnace was back up and running. Again, while I hope no one else is having this problem, Murphy did say that a large number of their service calls during this cold snap could be attributed to this. He probably saved us the money I would have spent on the
thermostat and a service call.

2:39 PM UPDATE: Brief flurry here at The Junction. Meantime, SDOT says “refreezing” tonight may require “refocusing on primary roads.” And WestSide Baby needs help. This just in from Nancy Woodland:

The weather has impacted our operations this week to a near standstill.
This is especially concerning timing with orders waiting for children
expecting warm clothes and toys for Christmas. We need extra hands to help
us sort the many donations we’ve received (yeah!) and to fill orders for
pick up by our agency partners on Monday. We’ve been closed for most of
this week but will be open on Saturday from 10am to 3pm for volunteers,
donations and pick-ups. Although our parking lot can be treacherous we’re
inviting people to make their way to White Center to help out if they are
comfortable driving. Because of the volume, we’d love to have adult or
experienced volunteers only so that we can make the most of the time we’ll
have tomorrow before the snow hits again. Even an hour or two makes a huge

Because of this week’s unpredictability, please call our phone in the
morning or check our website if there is concerning weather between this
afternoon and tomorrow. Of course, today our voicemail outgoing message
isn’t working properly so we hope that will be a good tool for communication

We also plan to be open Monday 9-3 (weather permitting) and possibly on
Tuesday too. Thanks so much to everyone who supports WestSide Baby!

Photo from Ann – 16th SW, looking south from SW Henderson:

3:54 PM UPDATE: Back online after a while in transit. Some updates from the road in a moment. First, the latest from Jessie at Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor) – they’re open:

We are back in business today, all employees made it in…ElodieO from NY is rescheduled from last night and is now playing tonight at 8:00 pm in addition to the scheduled acts, so if we don’t get any cancellations from other bands we will have at least two, and likely more acts tonight (up to 4). Send anyone going stir-crazy in the Delridge neighborhood our way for hearty meals and warming beverages!

Also, 18th at Brandon is open again, reports Dan, who had originally reported its closure (see photo above). Meantime, if you’re going to Westwood Village (the other 2/3 of the team are headed there now and promised to bring back a pre-dusk photo), Todd has this alert:

Just wanted to get the word out that a possible scam artist was making rounds at the Westwood QFC earlier today. A petite Asian woman with an empty shopping cart and a QFC gift card was approaching people (my fiancee included) and in very broken English asking people to pay for her groceries in exchange for her gift card. My girlfriend very politely told her that the gift card should be usable here and we went on our way, but she tried to persuade us at least two more times. It could be an actual case of the language barrier causing this woman some confusion, but it seemed really weird and not at all reasonable, especially when she became more aggressive.

Via “lasagnahog” on Twitter, an important reminder, if you haven’t thought of it already: Charge EVERYTHING today and tomorrow in case that next storm really DOES bring outages. (We have extra laptop batteries plus extra Internet access so we’ll be online – yes, we know, you might not be able to get to your computer, but even during the ’06 windstorm when comparatively few people knew about WSB, some folks called out-of-area friends/relatives and had them read the latest updates. Or you can call us – write our number down, 206-293-6302.)

4:14 PM UPDATE: Adding some photos from our recent travels. First, Thriftway/Tully’s lot in Morgan Junction has its own snow-clearing going on:

South of there, here’s the California SW hill looking south from right about Caffe Ladro:

Same hill, looking north from ABOVE Morgan Junction:

For some reason, we liked this picture of the pigeons huddled for warmth (?) over the Junction 7-11 sign:

Just noticed the old Corner Inn awnings are finally off the future Zeeks Pizza at California/Fauntleroy:

Here’s the tricorner at Erskine/Edmunds/California in The Junction (by the way, probably too late to matter now, but we discovered the WaMuJPMorganEtc drive-through had a weather closure today – walk-in bank at Cali/Oregon was open):

And here are the Icicles of Doom over Matador:

Kelly Johnston sent this one:

Not that you were likely to be traveling that far south, but we just heard via Twitter that Zoolights is canceled tonight at Point Defiance (one of our seasonal faves but we haven’t been yet).

4:33 PM WEATHER ALERT UPDATE: Now we’re up to a Winter Storm WARNING for 4 pm Saturday to 4 pm Sunday. Newest forecast here. See the official National Weather Service briefing presentation here.

Commute reminder: West Seattle-relevant traffic cameras (including I-5, 99, 1st So. bridge) on the WSB Traffic page.

5:31 PM UPDATE: A few more road-conditions photos before they are too outdated – they’re all predusk but in some cases that’s as little as an hour or so ago. First, our trip east on SW Trenton from 35th to Westwood Village:

Minoru photographed SW Holden and says, “This is what Holden and 28th looked like about an hour ago (looking east on Holden) — they have the “closed” sign at this intersection and at the bottom of the hill by Delridge, but a lot of people were ignoring the sign (mostly SUVs). The only cars I saw spinning wheels were front-wheel drive sedans.”

From SDOT on Twitter (twitter.com/sdotsnow, their first experiment with this increasingly popular service): “As of 5:30 p.m., major roads remain passable across the city. SDOT keeping a close eye on temps and possible refreezing.”

5:59 PM UPDATE: Another pre-dusk road-condition photo – from Arbor Heights, Julie sends this shot of SW 106th, looking toward California (map):

We’ll start the evening post within the hour, after a few more “other news” notes in separate posts.

6:37 PM UPDATE: But first, a bus-related update from the Washington State Ferries service bulletins:

Riders of Metro bus #54 which stops at the Fauntleroy terminal are advised of a 2 bus schedule now in effect due to inclement driving conditions. There is only one bus in each direction at this time. Passengers are advised to plan for long waits at stops along bus route 54. Smaller buses are being used for better handling and control.

TV says Puget Sound Blood Center really needs donations. Can you help? psbc.org

7:43 PM UPDATE: Since not much is happening, we’ll just keep this update going through the evening. Working on a “pre-windstorm essentials” separate writeup right now, so look for that later (as well as a couple of other standalone weather-related items). New forecast should be out in the 9 pm hour, so that’s when we’ll get the next assessment of how things are shaping up for the weekend. (It’ll be here … [added later] still on the same track as predicted earlier, snow/wind arriving late tomorrow.)

8:47 PM NOTE: Kenyon Hall has postponed tomorrow night’s Christmas Keyboards show till 8 pm Jan. 3. We are continuing to update the Holidays and Events calendars as we hear of postponements or changes, but we’ve also made notations when we know events ARE STILL HAPPENING – like tomorrow morning’s Holiday Magic show at the Admiral Theater (11 am).

10:06 PM NOTE: In the WSB Forums, a discussion’s under way about where to go if the power goes out. We’re continuing to research but have contributed a few resources. Do you have advice to share from 2006, or any other major outage? Join the conversation!

10:52 PM NOTE: Sounds like police may be checking out Charlestown hill (west of California SW) — just heard scanner chat about people possibly out there with beer and maybe even fireworks. And yes, there’s now another callout to 46th and Charlestown. By the way, as steep as that section is, it’s not the steepest – one of the top three steepest streets in Seattle is the section of Charlestown between 59th and 60th, 20 percent slope (full steepness list here). Update – fire engine there too, something about a burn barrel.

11:46 PM UPDATE: And ATV’s, too (again, per scanner). Wow, must be SOME scene over there. 46th SW/SW Charlestown seems to be the epicenter.

99 Replies to "West Seattle snow and ice: Friday afternoon-evening updates"

  • Roger December 19, 2008 (1:49 pm)

    Sounds like this afternoon or tomorrow morning is the best time to go out and stock up on supplies again.
    Did somebody mention cabin fever???

  • Bogie December 19, 2008 (1:52 pm)

    Anyone have any updates on the watermain break on 18th? It’s a block from my house (probably don’t have water!) and will be heading home soon. Trying to decide if I should go around Delridge and back track from the South down 18th.

  • k December 19, 2008 (1:53 pm)

    Does anyone have info about Highland Park Way/9th Ave?
    We are supposed to be in Burien for a Ballet Recital Dress Rehearsal at 4pm…
    I’m beginning to think not although there will be one devastated child here.

  • JenV December 19, 2008 (1:58 pm)

    Made it up to the Junction for lunch. Parking on the street is as sparse as it would have been without snow. We parked behind the Rocksport with no problems. The sidewalks are VERY icy and slippery! Be careful! Went to EBB for lunch – it was crowded – service was EXCELLENT as always, as was the food. They have a chipotle seafood chowder right now that will definitely drive away the cold. Most businesses appear to be open and thriving.

    Coming back, we got stuck behind some yahoo by the Safeway with no 4wheel drive or chains. He almost slid back into us. Going around him, we STOPPED at the 4-way- unlike most others, who seem to think when snow hits the ground it’s traffic anarchy. Guess what? You still need to stop at stop lights and signs – other people are depending on you to do that.

  • Deb December 19, 2008 (2:03 pm)

    Yes, Cabin Fever has hit! I tried to catch the 54 at Wildwood and 45th in Fauntleroy…waited an hour and never saw a bus going either direction…I am trying to get stocked up the next round…need some logs especially if we lose power on Sunday…YUK! ;o(

  • megan December 19, 2008 (2:04 pm)

    I live on 9th and although #23 bus hasn’t been using it all day 9th is slushy but looks okay. Cars are going slow, but moving along fine.

  • Lisa December 19, 2008 (2:12 pm)

    Just walked to the Junction and back from Belvidere; very busy with people, cars, buses. The post office looked crazy. Everyone’s out!

  • k December 19, 2008 (2:13 pm)

    Thanks Megan!
    Now if we could get off Othello…

  • sks December 19, 2008 (2:15 pm)

    Just wanted to say thanks to bus drivers, letter carriers and all the busy public servants, journalists and bloggers. Everyone is really going the extra mile to try to do the best they can under pretty hard conditions.

    I’m happy, safe and working from my sofa and really appreciate those who are out there working in this!

  • JenV December 19, 2008 (2:17 pm)

    so…do the buses seem to be running on time for the most part? I need to catch a bus downtown this evening. I would be catching the 54 from California Ave. thanks in advance.

  • zerodacus December 19, 2008 (2:19 pm)

    Drove to the Admiral Safeway, lots of parking, they do have lots of De-icer granules @ $10.99 (probably $5.99 when there is no snow on the ground). Hiked down to the Liquor store, I meant the Junction, slippery in some spots ok in most, California Ave. traffic slow but steady. I am constantly amazed at the jaywalkers.

  • Daniel December 19, 2008 (2:19 pm)

    I live in the 5900 block of 18th Ave SW. We still have water. Hopefully the water dept will be able to repair that main quickly.

  • littlebrowndog December 19, 2008 (2:21 pm)

    Went to the Admiral Safeway to stock up in anticipation of our next weather blast and it looks like everybody else is doing the same thing. The parking lot was full and the store was pretty crowded.

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (2:31 pm)

    Anyone know what Roxbury is like ? If I can get out of our street(SW 105th St) to 35th, I may be able to make it to White Center.

  • Jen December 19, 2008 (2:34 pm)

    A 120 bus passed me by at the Delridge/Orchard stop at about 11:30, but was immediately (i.e. less than a minute) later followed by a another 120. BOTH were articulated. Delridge seemed to be a mix of bare concrete, slush and areas of ridged, compacted snow. Slow & steady will do it. Downtown streets seem to be fine, at least between University and Cherry. Even most of the hills that were closed yesterday are open back up today in that part of town. I did see a 120 coming down 3rd Ave, on the way back to WS at about 2:00. It was SRO, as I imagine most of them will be for the rest of the afternoon.

  • Johnston December 19, 2008 (2:39 pm)

    Just hit Westwood QFC for some supplies…pretty crowded, but well stocked in general. They have lots of batteries…might want to add some to your list just in case!

    Darren…Roxbury is slushy and a little slick in places but did just fine in my FWD Neon. Might get worse after dark, though when traffic slows down.

    Stay safe and warm everyone!

  • dapuffin December 19, 2008 (2:40 pm)

    Darren, we’re neighbors. (Wonder how close?) I walked SW 105th to 35th and down to Roxbury and back this a.m. 35th looked pretty good and to my eye, Roxbury didn’t look too bad. Side streets still looked pretty fluffy with snow earlier this a.m. I was able to traverse on foot with very minimal sliding; it wasn’t icy like earlier this week. My husband got our car up 105th this morning around 8ish. Good luck!

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (2:41 pm)

    I also just got a note with some Highland Park pix (will post as soon as poss) that also mentioned Roxbury is “slushy.”

  • Deb December 19, 2008 (2:41 pm)

    Jen V…no the 54 bus is not running on schedule…never saw one in either direction while waiting for an hour…gave up because I was too cold…good luck…

  • LMA December 19, 2008 (2:42 pm)

    I have a full house at Cafe Rozella, people are driving around, its been okay not bad, Young lee, Pho 88, Wallgreens, the White Center Rental tool, Kikis is open, I took a walk around the block. its okay here, a little ice , but okay :)

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (2:42 pm)

    Thank you…..I need to get to the closest liquor store….and the one in White Center is the closest without going too far.

  • LMA December 19, 2008 (2:43 pm)

    I am going to get some lunch at Pho 88 see ya later

  • JenV December 19, 2008 (2:49 pm)

    Deb- thanks! Guess I will just buck up and wait it out. …

    @LMA – I am jealous! :D

  • Alice December 19, 2008 (2:53 pm)

    Thanks WSB.

    I’m still updating that map as comments come in (I’ll probably stop around 6 or 7pm, with some lulls around 4), but until then, if people could include both cross streets in their posts about road conditions, it would make it faster and more accurate for me to update that map!


  • Megen December 19, 2008 (2:54 pm)

    Just came back from Clyde Hill (next to Bellevue) 520 towards seattle and i-5 onto the West Seattle Bridge were all clear, wet though. If you are heading onto 520 make sure if you exit off of 520 to be careful on the exit ramps. Most of them have not been plowed from what I have noticed. I’m thinking I am not going to be able to get to work on Sunday morning at 7:00 AM if this storm hits tomorrow afternoon. :(

  • SD December 19, 2008 (3:12 pm)

    Just got back from Westwood Village, Tony’s (to get my tree) and the Morgan Thriftway. California south to Holden was fine; Holden to 35th wasn’t as plowed as I expected though (compact snow). 35th and Barton were both fine if slushy. Coming back I took Thistle rather than Holden; Thistle is more clear of snow but slushy in places. The Thriftway parking lot is very busy but mostly plowed.

    My general impression is that things are ok now on the main roads, but I wouldn’t want to be out once the slush on the main roads freezes over tonight as it’s probably going to, and that many people are going WAY TOO FAST for the conditions!!!

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (3:12 pm)

    Alice….our road is drivable SW 105th St between 39th and 35th. not too many driving on it. We are going to try and get out in a few minutes…will let everyone know what the roads are like.

  • Julie December 19, 2008 (3:14 pm)

    Very cool map, Alice!

  • JH December 19, 2008 (3:17 pm)

    I just got back from Metro Market. Admiral was fine at least from 49th (plowed and slushy), California Ave. was fine, but the store was crowded! I did see some idiot driving like a madman, sliding around on purpose, near Lander/McDonalds. Probably one of my daughter’s schoolmates…

    I’m going out to walk the dog now before I go crazy again in my house!

  • Alice December 19, 2008 (3:26 pm)

    Julie –

    Thanks Mom! ;)


  • Aim December 19, 2008 (3:35 pm)

    For anyone who’s looking for the state of roads in the SW/SE WS area: I just ran down to Westwood Village QFC. As others mentioned, it’s a madhouse. But generally people are pretty cheerful. An extra THANK YOU to the gentleman who picked up my fallen glove for me outside. What you didn’t know is that due to back issues, I can’t pick things up off the ground and would have just left it had you not been so kind. As you said, “what good is one glove?”

    I went from Delridge/Trenton down Trenton, to 25th and into the QFC lot. After groceries I went out onto Barton, up Barton to Henderson back to Delridge (the Barton hill between Delridge and 24th is roped off and full of sledders — if you are traveling by car up Barton or down Henderson, be aware — if one loses control you will have very little stopping time by the time you see them on that blind curve!)

    I then went south on Delridge, down 16th past Full Tilt (who is OPEN!), east on 98th, south again on 15th to the liquor store — stocking up for a power outage, you better believe it! The liquor store was also incredibly busy. I followed the same route back home: 15th to 98th to 16th to Delridge to Trenton. All roads were drivable, though the stretch of 16th that goes along in front of Full Tilt was more packed snow than anything and some may not be able to drive it. Stay in LOW gear and go slowly. LOTS of pedestrians about, and as is typical in the snow they’re really not looking for cars but just wandering out.

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    Updated! Thanks!

  • JayDee December 19, 2008 (3:43 pm)

    I changed my mind on the 51 and drove the 20-year old Trooper instead, and as usual, it came through just fine. Charleston, 49th, 55th, and Genessee are fine, snow covered but easily maneuverable. California is slush and bare and wet.

    There are normal amount of asshats out there, but everyone is being polite in spite of them. Car drivers though are turning into cyclists and rolling their stops. Sorry folks, the rules apply still and there was little ice out to justify. Thanks WSB, got my ICE MELT at Admiral Safeway.

  • Dan December 19, 2008 (3:50 pm)

    The section of 18th SW between Dawson and Brandon is open again. I don’t know if the water service was completely restored, but all the SPU trucks are gone, so it looks like it.

    Road is bare and wet in some places where the water rushed down, but otherwise it’s the usual compact snow/ice mix. The route up the hill from Oregon to Dawson is better going down than up. Saw a couple of cars losing traction pretty early going up that hill about an hour ago.

  • Babs December 19, 2008 (3:52 pm)

    Crazy is the picture of the charter bus hanging over i5, see it at the Seattle Times website. Myself I just got back from the Interbay area and Downtown, saw a few insane drivers, tape pulled across some of those steep hills going down to Western Ave (they are scary on normal days.) One car had crashed coming down and was still there totaled on the steep steep side street. Not many drivers out if using a normal Friday as a normal day. Roads were OK, best advice I have is drive slow, let the crazy speed freaks pass you…highly used main streets were OK…

  • Sarah December 19, 2008 (3:53 pm)

    Alice, Fauntleroy is slushy but lots of cars both directions crossing Edmunds, which means the whole road is bound to be reasonably drivable from at least Alaska south to California.

    Also, for now, Edmunds is drivable – cautiously – between Fauntleroy and 42nd/Jefferson Square. Even little front-wheel drive cars are making it up the big hill, although some cars slide a bit coming back down 41st to 40th.

    I’m sure tonight I’ll be watching cars slide down Edmunds again, though. – Sarah

  • Sue December 19, 2008 (3:56 pm)

    Having been stuck in the house for 2 days now with nothing but healthy food available, does annyone know if anyone’s open for pizza delivery tonight? :)

  • paul December 19, 2008 (3:56 pm)

    Roxbury is just fine, 106th is ify. Looks like there are several of us in that area! I am on 28th and 109 and have avoided 106th, taking 28th to Roxbury and then to 35th and have not had a problem at all. Morgan is still “closed” but you would never know it, everyone is ignorning the sign.

  • Dustin December 19, 2008 (3:58 pm)

    I swear there are flakes coming down here in Shorewood. At first I thought it was just stuff blowing off the trees, but after about 5 minutes I’m pretty sure these are from the sky itself.

    Let me emphasize though, they are small and coming down few and far between…but still…prelude to round 3?

  • KO December 19, 2008 (3:59 pm)

    So, I have an old (97) Celica, no chains & I work in the U District – retail. I live off of 10th Ave SW and am very nervous about attempting the trek and getting stuck somewhere. I know once I get out of here it will be fine since it generally is up there… just nervous about driving back at 10pm… any opinions?

  • Peaches December 19, 2008 (4:06 pm)

    28th Ave SW, Roxbury to 106th–bonehead on a snowmobile buzzing up and down the road, mindless of oncoming traffic and multiple pedestrians. Let’s hope he finds a nice home in a ditch.

  • Sarah December 19, 2008 (4:09 pm)

    Anyone have thoughts on what 55 / 54 bus service will be like tonight?

    I haven’t been out today, but my mom and I have tickets for Benaroya tonight at 8 p.m. I’m sure we can get there. I’m wondering about the trip back at 10-11 p.m.

  • Dustin December 19, 2008 (4:13 pm)

    Peaches – Is that what I keep hearing? I hope he doesn’t cross 106th going south on 28th. We’ve got a bunch of sledders on 107th and I’m already worried for them. Last thing we need is some idiot on a snow mobile taking a corner too fast.

  • of December 19, 2008 (4:23 pm)

    made it to ballard with no problems at about 2:30. Took Charlestown to 49th to admiral to 99. Market in Ballard was fine too, in case anyone is venturing up this way. Hopefully the return trip will bag as easy.

  • Jennie December 19, 2008 (4:33 pm)

    Can I just tell you how much I freakin’ LOVE WSB!!! I’m totally addicted. Now on to other important comments:

    DON’T drive aggressively! There is nowhere people need to be going as fast as I’ve seen out there on the roads. Seriously! Be safe, not sorry!

    Also, since garbage service is suspended for awhile, keep your eyes out for overflowing garbage cans. If you see a bag being attacked by birds, lend a neighborly hand and try to find an empty can nearby to put it in. THANKS!

  • Admiral Janeway December 19, 2008 (4:38 pm)

    Sarah – On my ride home, someone asked the bus driver the same question as you. He answered they will run the buses as long as it is safe to do so.
    One more thing. Don’t depend on the bus schedule to get downtown. Basically, the buses are running their route without regard to the schedule.

  • Peaches December 19, 2008 (4:43 pm)

    Dustin–The snowmobilers are kids themselves–teenagers. Of course, no helmet (no brains). There’s that long open stretch of road from 106th to 102nd (except for the traffic circles. A neighbor and I worked with the county a couple of years ago to have those put in!!). Seems to be the attraction to keep them to the north of 106th. There was a similar bonehead in a big pickup truck doing donuts in the middle of 28th in front of the churches. Just don’t see the attraction. . .

  • Julie December 19, 2008 (4:49 pm)

    106th in Arbor Heights: compact snow;

    Marine View Drive: compact snow.

    Few vehicles taking these; mostly pickups with chains (most going too fast for my liking).

  • Peaches December 19, 2008 (4:49 pm)

    May be the end of the snowmobilers on 28th Ave SW–just saw a KC Sheriff head south on 28th. The boys on the snow machines whizzed past my house just seconds before the sheriff passed by–know he saw at least one of them.

  • Gina December 19, 2008 (4:52 pm)

    the last 55 leaves downtown at 8 on regular schedule, so look for a 54 to get back to West Seattle after 8.

  • Alice December 19, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    Thanks, Peaches, Paul, Sarah, Dan, Aim, Darren. All on the map.

    Sarah, I went out to the 5th Avenue Theater last night on the bus, and it worked. Of course, the only reason I felt sure I could get back was that I knew I could walk if all else failed. The 11pm 54 was about 5 minutes late, and seemed to run its regular route.

    It’s going to refreeze tonight, so be sure you have a backup plan, and taxi might not be a good one. Leave several hours early (I left 3 hours early and made it to my play with 30 minutes to spare) Wait for the bus at 35th and Avalon if you can, bring a water bottle, snack, a thermos of something warm, and wrap up well. Get on any bus that’s going vaguely in the correct direction, and then get off at its closest stop to where you’re headed. You may end up bus-jumping. I took a 22 to the Stadiums (it stopped) and then walked to Pioneer Square where I ran into a 5 headed north which took me to 3rd and Union.

    The walk from the Junction to the North end of Pioneer Square is ~1hr 45 minutes to 2 hours. Not for the faint of heart, but 100% do-able.

    If you’re not sure about walking 5-10 blocks in this, don’t go.

  • BG December 19, 2008 (4:54 pm)

    I agree that it’s not a safe or smart thing to do on the snowmobile, but is it the right thing to do by wishing them harm?

  • Alice December 19, 2008 (4:57 pm)

    Dustin – Which block of 107th is your sled hill? I’m marking sledding hills on the map (so drivers can avoid them).


  • Peaches December 19, 2008 (5:00 pm)

    Ditch does not necessarily equal harm. Ditch could equal valuable life lesson.

  • JH December 19, 2008 (5:03 pm)

    OMG I got my tree!!!!!!

  • cjboffoli December 19, 2008 (5:04 pm)

    They should de-mothball and restart the water taxi until this winter freeze has passed.

  • Dustin December 19, 2008 (5:08 pm)

    Alice – SW 107th between 28th Ave. SW and Seola Beach Drive.

    Peaches – No helmets? I have to ask, where are the parents in all this???

  • Hobo Mama December 19, 2008 (5:10 pm)

    My husband’s out running errands and says Alki Ave & Harbor Ave from 53rd Ave SW to the highway is more gravelly in texture than slick, because the ice is crunchy and has been churned up so well by chains and tires. He said if you go slowly it shouldn’t be a problem.

  • BG December 19, 2008 (5:20 pm)

    your right Peaches, I’m sure that you meant that they would just hit a ditch and just softly fall down into a puff of snow.

  • Peaches December 19, 2008 (5:22 pm)

    Oh, and one must apparently stand up on a snowmobile in order to be the epitome of cool. Been quiet for the past 30-45 minutes. Appearance of the Sheriff may have done the trick.

  • Peaches December 19, 2008 (5:29 pm)

    BG–clearly the boys on the snow machines are not thinking of the harm they could bring on themselves or countless others. If a good bruising makes them think twice next time, so be it.

  • paul December 19, 2008 (5:31 pm)

    Peaches, another neighbor!! 109th and 28th here (the smart car house) yes, the snowmobile and 4 wheel atv thing are a bit out of control. I don’t wish harm, but they do need to do something with these kids. Wonder what the parents are like…..
    107th sleding hill is between 28th Ave Sw and Sequolia Beach Drive. I can’t spell Sequolia….
    Sleding also at the 2 churches, on 28th ave sw between 100th and 102nd.
    Alice YOU ROCK with the map!

  • Dustin December 19, 2008 (5:45 pm)

    Paul – So you’re the smart car house! I have to admit, I drool over that sleek little auto every time I see it. :)

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (5:48 pm)

    Made it the store(liquor) in White Center and back. 35th south of Roxbury is compact snow and ice. It would have been nice to have been sanded and deiced a little. Got to White Center via Roxbury, which is fine. Noticed the tire was flat and made our way up 35th to Holden. To the Chevron station. The valve stem was cracked. Thank you to Randy Hackett and his staff to get that taken care of quickly. Back home safe and sound. There were a few jaywalkers…one by the Safeway on Roxbury…an older lady. Very dumb thing to do, especially when there is a crosswalk right there.

  • fred-e December 19, 2008 (5:50 pm)

    Just came down 3dth heading north towards Alaska and although it didn’t seem too slippery, there were some cars really struggling to get up the hill.

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (5:50 pm)

    Kids were sledding down our hill between 39th and 35th on SW 105th.

  • matthew darling December 19, 2008 (5:55 pm)

    waited forever for the northbound 21 earlier…never came. a”special” bus..insert joke here…came and took people to the junction where we had to take a 55 to downtown. busdriver no 21 today and the metro site says it is operating at normal schedule…anyone got reliable info? i need to get a bus back from downtown at 11pm and have no idea which to take….

  • zerodacus December 19, 2008 (5:58 pm)

    Had some knuckleheads on dirt bikes tearing around California and Charleston. On 42nd mostly, they’ve been gone for about half hour.

  • westseattledood December 19, 2008 (6:01 pm)

    Alice –

    Your map had 9,222 views when I checked it out!


    Nice work neighbor –

    & thank you!

  • Molly December 19, 2008 (6:03 pm)

    We live on the closed section of Holden, between Delridge and 28th and are headed out for the first time since yesterday morning. Cabin fever is a’brewin! Off to get sushi at Azuma (home away from home), they are open until 9:30…then to Thirftway for cookie fixins’. Should be the perfect cure for our ills.
    Thanks to all for the wonderful road and open/close updates! I also have suddenly become a WSB addict.

  • fred-e December 19, 2008 (6:05 pm)

    Meant to say 35th SW

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (6:08 pm)

    which reminds me to again thank everyone for collaborating – we always say, the people who come to WSB are not readers, they’re collaborators, and nothing underscores that more than what’s been happening the past few days. It was also suggested that we write a post explaining what ELSE we do here at WSB when things aren’t quite so dire, so we’ve been working on that, but adding info and photos is Job 1 so we haven’t finished it yet. Welcome one and all … this is West Seattle news, information, discussion, and collaboration, 24/7, and we are thrilled to be part of it — TR

  • Admiral Janeway December 19, 2008 (6:12 pm)

    Speaking of hits on websites. I’ve been visiting WSB so many times this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if their monthly views hit a million. I join the others in saying, “Great job, WSB!”

  • Alice December 19, 2008 (6:21 pm)

    Dustin – that link was very helpful!

    Hobo Mama, Paul, Darren, fred-e, Molly, and WSB – Thanks, I got your updates in there!

    Paul and westseattledood – ::blushes:: thanks … I was just having trouble wading through the comments to find a quick reference to the streets/busses near me, and I thought others might have the same trouble. So (it being a snow day, and being trapped at home) I did something about it.

  • P December 19, 2008 (6:24 pm)

    Dustin if you find my keys you can take it for a drive. I lost them yesterday, either at the laundromat or safeway…ugh. Stop by when we are out and you can see it more.

  • Lizru December 19, 2008 (6:25 pm)

    Holy Rosary Christmas Trees – a couple of folks asked about the hours of the Holy Rosary Christmas tree folks earlier. I stopped by and they plan to be open until 9pm tonight. Big discount today (I think 20%?) for your late tree shoppers!

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (6:32 pm)

    Admiral J – If every day was like yesterday, we’d be close to 2 million pageviews for a month :) — we set a new record that was almost double the old record, which was set the day before! (And for technically oriented folks, that’s pageviews per Google Analytics, not server-side pageviews which would include bots and spammers and so on and therefore be a lot higher, but meaningless.)
    Since midyear we’ve surpassed half a million each month and for a site like this that’s a lot, considering that you can usually get all the latest info in just one pageview, unlike a newspaper site where everything is a “jump” from the home page or a “section” page, so if there’s anything you want to read on that type of site, it’s at least an additional pageview. We do usually jump really long stories, like the full-length articles we write about major meetings and issues, but there’s no point in doing that with the weather coverage – we ARE going back and jumping the previous days’ coverage, though, to try to lighten the home-page a tiny bit, after the fact. TMI maybe but since you mentioned it … TR

  • Peaches December 19, 2008 (6:33 pm)

    P-There was a set of keys on the area under mailbox station on 28th (the multiple mailbox station nearest Safeway–there are two on 28th. Saw them when I was walking to Safeway today. A car remote and a couple of keytags (maybe QFC and Blockbuster?) as well as a couple of keys. If these sound like these might be yours, I can shinny down there and see if they are still there.

  • cjboffoli December 19, 2008 (6:44 pm)

    TR: Thanks for the status. I had been wondering what the page hits were like, especially with the comment numbers so high. It is interesting to me how much more value-added the WSB becomes when a major weather event like this hits. Almost 2 million page hits is absolutely incredible. Congrats.

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (7:03 pm)

    The mail can deliver mail, Federal Express, I’ve seen driving around, but UPS can’t deliver a package that I’m waiting for. The roads are too bad for them.

  • P December 19, 2008 (7:06 pm)

    Peaches, unfortunately those are not mine…I don’t have any tags on mine. Just a round remote key with 4 other keys.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (7:07 pm)

    Even better than the pageviews is the fact the number of homes and businesses has gone up as well … we already had 5,000+ on the average day, more than 14,000 at least once a week, but yesterday 10,000+ homes and businesses stopped by .. so we are hopeful that maybe more people have heard about WSB now; we don’t have a huge marketing budget so word-of-mouth — or discovering us via Google — is really big, and we really appreciate people telling their friends, neighbors, relatives about the site. The more people here, the better the information is. And again, even in calmer times, we are here reporting ORIGINAL news coverage — with collaborators’ help but also through good ol’ fashioned journalism, going to meetings, fires, briefings, neighborhood-group events … making phone calls, doing research — about myriad topics of West Seattle interest, from first word of a new restaurant to “how come construction of that park hasn’t happened yet” to “local schoolkids do a volunteer cleanup” and much more. Oops, threadjacking again, sorry. Next post up is “pre-windstorm essentials” just in case, by the way, so I’m getting back to work on that.

  • Sage K December 19, 2008 (7:12 pm)

    Thank you for the google map. That is so awesome and helpful. I work graveyard at Target and it’s nice t know that I should be able to get to work.

    By the way Juneau west off Delridge has become a sheet of ice from kids sledding. Cars are having trouble getting up that little hill.

  • Caitlin December 19, 2008 (7:18 pm)

    I just got back from going to Target and to the Jefferson Square Safeway. Driving conditions were alright – I went about 20 the entire time, though! I didn’t have any problems with ice or slickness. And I drive a 1987 Accord with front wheel drive, no snow tires, and no chains.

    I have a few questions:
    1. Which would be better for driving long distances next week for Christmas: the aforementioned Accord, or a big truck which also has no snow tires and rear wheel drive?
    2. Where can I still get tire chains?
    3. Which is better for driving in the snow: front wheel drive or rear wheel drive?


  • Peaches December 19, 2008 (7:27 pm)

    Caitlin: Rear wheel drive is basically no wheel drive in snow/ice (I drive a big truck with rear wheel drive. Even with two tanks of gas and extra weight in the bed, it fishtails all over the place). I’m thinking the Accord (with snow tires if you can get them) and chains is your safest bet for whatever conditions you might hit.
    Safe travels!

  • bolo December 19, 2008 (7:30 pm)


    FWD much better in snow than RWD, RWD pickup trucks are even more problematical because when unloaded there is so little weight over the rear wheels they can be real skittish.

    Of course your choice should also take into consideration type/age of tires on your two vehicles and what else you might need the vehicle for on your trip.

    But simply, I would choose the FWD, which should give better mileage as well.

    Sometimes when the local autoparts stores are sold out of tire chains the wrecking yards have them (used).

  • ArborHeightsMom December 19, 2008 (7:37 pm)

    Drove Beach Dr this early evening, at about 5:15 and was surprised about how icy it was, too. Hill by the little beach park was OK, though (Near Othello). Marine View Dr SW got sanded and is really decent, no cars stuck today!

  • Caitlin December 19, 2008 (7:48 pm)

    Thanks guys!

    Wouldn’t most auto parts stores be out of things like snow tires and chains?

  • Alice December 19, 2008 (7:51 pm)

    Sage K – Got it!

  • FriendO'Dingus December 19, 2008 (7:52 pm)

    Has anyone else had any trouble using the metro tracker? I have found it painfully slow all day. Possibly they are taking too many hits from folks looking for information? How much could additional flux server capacity cost? I know this tool could have saved a lot of people from suffering on a cold sidewalk had it been working properly.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (7:58 pm)

    I tried to use it to look up some info for a longtime WSB’er who called while marooned downtown trying to catch a bus that never came. Just impossible. After this is all over, I am going to send Metro some feedback, whether they want it or not, on how it worked and didn’t work from our standpoint of trying to get info to people … even though I’m sure they’re well aware of what they need to work on. I do want to say that their communications folks have been helpful – I’ve received some information proactively from that team, and to know they’re reaching out to the neighborhood news sources is a good step. There must be some way to tie the GPS technology of bus tracking to the page that shows reroutes? Somehow? WSF has decent tracking technology on its “Vessel Watch” – though certainly many, many fewer “vehicles” to be “watching”!

  • FriendO'Dingus December 19, 2008 (8:13 pm)

    I agree that a map/GPS that showed real time reroutes would be ideal, but I couldn’t even get reliable information on a route that didn’t revise at all. I simply couldn’t get on to the server without a great deal of difficulty and patience. I am more sympathetic to the natural limits of the technology, but getting the system that is in place to work as well as it should would be a great help, and probably pretty cheap when compared to new busses.

  • lina December 19, 2008 (8:15 pm)

    who knew our hood would be a hot place for a first descent!

  • cathy December 19, 2008 (8:22 pm)

    A friend called and said the Admiral Safeway was completely out of eggs and running out of milk.

    I’m dreading another storm. As long as there is power, I’m ok. But no power means no heat, no cooking, no lights, no refrigeration. And as we learned last time – the gas pumps don’t dispense gasoline either. Yes, that’s right – charge up and fill up everything you can. Get out the blankets and candles. Make sure to have enough pet food too.

    The romance of the snow is starting to wear off…………I’ve run out of sidewalk salt too.

    Congrats on your hits, WSB. You deserve it for all the hard work you do.

  • Sarah December 19, 2008 (8:25 pm)

    FOD – the tracker through Metro’s website has been horrible today. Try mybus.org, which mirrors the metro tracker (exact same info), and for whatever reason is working just fine. Or, as well as the badly-implemented tracking system can work. :-)

  • Deb December 19, 2008 (8:53 pm)

    WSB – you are the best. I’ve grown up in WS the last 50 years and now totally appreciate the immediate updates and everything else. You guys are great. Thanks!

  • JH December 19, 2008 (10:09 pm)

    Lina-that video would have been more exciting had your husband crashed into you or something! You know, West Seattle’s Funniest Videos…

  • FriendO'Dingus December 20, 2008 (5:35 am)

    Thanks for the info Sarah. I will give mybus.org a try. Huggs!

  • Lucky Lou December 21, 2008 (1:53 am)

    The devices on Metro buses used for tracking location are not GPS-based. They are a much lower tech solution involving transmitting odometer readings and calculating distance and position based on their route relative to distance traveled. This is why reroutes are not accurately tracked, although it doesn’t say why you can’t use the trackers for non-rerouted buses in bad weather, as so many have not been trackable.

Sorry, comment time is over.