West Seattle snow and ice: Saturday morning/afternoon updates

(This post covered morning/afternoon/early evening; go here for the rest of the night – SATURDAY CLOSURES/CHANGES: Libraries closed at 4, Community centers/pools closed at 4 – Both YMCAs closing at 5 – Kenyon Hall show postponed to 1/3 – SUNDAY CLOSURES/CHANGES: Farmers’ Market canceled – No church at Westside Unitarian – Admiral Sings Christmas postponed to 12/28 – No mule rides in The Junction BUT as of right now Santa pix ARE still on – POWER OUTAGE SAFETY INFO AND READER TIPS HERE)

(latest image from West Seattle Bridge – refresh to update it)
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT 10:31 AM (post itself is retimestamped so it’s at the top of the home page): Had a request to start another post with road info etc. — so here we go. More to come; we’re back on live-update watch. Here’s some info from Seattle Parks:

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s facilities, including community centers, pools, environmental learning centers, Amy Yee Tennis Center and Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center are open until 4 p.m. today, but all regular programming has been canceled.

Public golf courses, including Jackson Park, Interbay, West Seattle and Jefferson Park are closed for golf, but are open for sledding.

Parks cautions visitors to Green Lake Park that while there is ice on the lake, it will not bear weight, and is not safe to walk on.

For more information about the center near you, please call that facility directly.

From Josh at the West Seattle Family YMCA (Triangle and Fauntleroy branches; WSB sponsor): “Both facilites are open, but Youth Basketball games are cancelled this weekend.”

11:11 AM UPDATE: The National Weather Service updated the forecast last hour. Mostly the same – snow not expected before sunset, so far, so you should have the whole day to get shopping and preparations (our “power outage advice/precautions” thread continues here) done. Here’s the NWS forecast discussion (note it pegs Sea-Tac as the northernmost point for the “heaviest snow” – since we’re not too far north of there, brace yourself).

(latest image from Fauntleroy/Alaska looking NE – refresh to update)

11:37 AM UPDATE: Minoru posts a comment from “a looooooong line” at the grocery store, and notes some items are out. If you see a delivery truck at any local supermarket, please advise!

12:53 PM UPDATE: Speaking of long lines – Arlene Carter from The Mount just called (206-293-6302, if you can’t get to e-mail, call us with tips or questions any time, it’s a mobile so we answer 24/7) — she says the line TO GET TO A CASHIER in Westwood Village Target STRETCHES ALL THE WAY DOWN THE STORE TO ELECTRONICS — Arlene says, “I have never seen anything like it in my life.” Via Twitter, Rhonda Porter (WSB sponsor) reports “QFC is a zoo.”

1 PM UPDATE: City of Seattle has posted a new news release (dated 4 pm today! may be why we haven’t received word of it by e-mail yet). Mostly recaps pre-possible-outage reminders and says in part:

“We are concerned about the possibility of some high winds hitting our service area late this afternoon,” (City Light) Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “We are holding some crews to be ready for what may hit us later today. Our fleet is chained up and fully equipped in order to respond to possible outages. We are prepared for the storm that will pass through the area later today. Snow is generally not a problem for power delivery, however, severe cold, ice and wind can become a problem for us.”

1:12 PM UPDATE: Hometown Holidays status for SUNDAY AFTERNOON from Susan Melrose at the West Seattle Junction Association:

For starters, the mule trolley rides are off! The commute from Port Angeles and they’re expecting a blizzard. However, the Pathfinder volunteers (wreath selling by KeyBank) couldn’t be more enthusiastic! And (musician) Patrick is eager to spin disks as long as his equipment doesn’t get damaged. We’re considering creating more of a shelter/den where people can come in from the cold and wind for coffee and a quick snuggle with the electric blanket or warm their feet by the heater.

And I just spoke with Mrs. Claus. Santa can’t wait to meet all the children who might walk, sled or ski to the Junction for a last minute visit.

As of now, our plans are to continue to host a cheery Holiday Headquarters in the midst of a snow storm, but if conditions turn to severe, we might back out early or altogether.

That’s tomorrow, noon-4 pm in The Junction (WSB sponsor). Updates as we get them (and thanks for sharing updates on other events – including church services for tomorrow – if any are canceled, let us know – editor@westseattleblog.com).

1:41 PM UPDATE: In comments, it’s pointed out that the snow has started in the South Sound. Sure LOOKS impending-snow-like out the window. Even more ominously, Scott C sent this link to KOMO radar animation (wow!) with the subject line “It’s coming.” Also, a tip from Meredith via Facebook: “If you are planning on stocking up lines at Admiral Safeway are crazy… hint, if you only have a few items, enjoy a latte and buy your few items at the Starbucks register.”

1:54 PM UPDATE: Speaking of Admiral, thanks to Cathy M. Woo for this road report:

From Admiral, up 59th to Genesee Hill is still a sheet of ice. Drivers are coming down 59th SW waaaayyy too fast and sliding into the Admiral Way intersection. Some doing 360’s at the bottom. See attached photo. Closest car has crashed into a fence. Fortunately that’s all it was. And you can see across Admiral where someone missed the right hand turn onto 59th and hit the car parked there.

Also – via Twitter, mcneight reports Les Schwab on 4th (South Seattle) “just got a load of tire chains in from Portland.”


2:37 PM UPDATE: Latest from Skylark Club and Cafe (WSB sponsor):

“Skylark is open until 7 pm tonight. Bands will be rescheduled. We have a few plans in place for Brunch tomorrow, I’ll update our myspace.com/skylarkcafe status with the latest news. Thanks to everyone who has been valiantly braving the threat of icy roads to get here for the last two days…our wonderful and attractive staff and our fabulous and discerning customers. You rock West Seattle.”

Getting more reports from all over West Seattle (and beyond) of Return of the Flakes ’08. Hope it stays light so folks can finish shopping etc. before nightfall. Should have a new forecast in an hour or so to give us some idea of when wind will be added to this – although it’s still expected to be worse in Cascades foothills, Eastside, wind-wise, than here in the central metro area, though 30 mph would be bad enough.

3:16 PM UPDATE: Field report from walk around the block. Snowing harder now. Breezy. Every single little grain is sticking, since it’s so cold. Junction TrueValue out of Ice Melt, says Alice in comments. Hope you don’t have to drive, but if you do, WSDOT tweets this advice: “If stranded tonight, move vehicle out of travel lane and use emergency flashers. Stay in car and if running, keep the tailpipe area clear.” California north from Thistle looked like this a few minutes ago, but there’s no doubt the road surface won’t be visible for long, now that it’s really coming down:

Scott C sends the crowd shot from inside Thriftway at Morgan Junction:

And he notes the slippery dangers of snow getting tracked into Rite-Aid (the one on California):

And just north of Thriftway, looking east to Fauntleroy/Morgan:

Cliff Mass notes on his site that the wind’s not here yet because this hasn’t switched over to easterly yet – that’s running later than expected, though the snow ran a bit early.

Site note: We are now re-timestamping this entry to 11:22 am so that it appears at the top of the home page. The original time, 10:31 am, is now noted at the start of this post’s text.

3:40 PM UPDATE: RealLowVibe tweeted moments ago: “plenty of candles, batteries remain at Admiral Junction Bartell’s, and a delivery guy was bringing in milk and eggs at Met Market.” You can watch citywide reports of the snow via Twitter on the Web here (if you use Twitter, send a storm-related note with the “hashtag” #seatst – for Seattle TwitterStormTeam – and the search will pick it up). Also, a road report from Scott C (who sent various photos above): “Morgan Street going east is open, had NO problems getting up the hill. Morgan Street going west has a road closed sign at 35th in front of U-Haul.”

3:57 PM UPDATE: National Weather Service midafternoon briefing called this storm “life-threatening” in some regions of Western Washington — briefing slides are posted here (highlights – temps warming tomorrow, maybe even into low 40s, but new lowland snow threat tomorrow night!).

4:06 PM UPDATE: Just got a call from Alice – library branches all closed at 4. Community centers, as we reported earlier, all closed early too. Any other reports of closures and changes welcome – editor@westseattleblog.com or 206-293-6302. ALSO – Both YMCA’s closing at 5 tonight – AND CLOSED TOMORROW. Says Josh from the Y, “Stay home and stay warm.” On the STILL HAPPENING side, we have a note that the West Seattle High School girls’ basketball game vs. Vashon at 5 pm IS STILL HAPPENING – Kim suggests “it would be a nice late-afternoon activity for those within walking distance.”

4:23 PM UPDATE: Kari at Westside Unitarian says church is canceled for tomorrow (including the solstice play) but “folks who live close by will be there with hot coffee and good conversation for anyone who wants to show up.” Website’s at www.wsuu.org. Also, from comments: Thriftway closing early, at 7 pm. We will start a list of closures/changes at the very TOP of this post so you can access them any time. No wind trouble yet BUT a reminder that King County Public Health has sent out an important info list, including how to avoid carbon-monoxide poisoning (which killed people in the 2006 power outage), with infosheets in multiple languages – here’s the link again — adding to top of post too.

4:41 PM UPDATE: Snow VERY light right now – just stepped outside for a photo of the road before it’s completely dark – this is Thistle looking east from California, you can assume any previously cleared road is now frosted from the snow that started 2 hours ago:

4:53 PM UPDATE: Just in from the city, which says this briefing will be shown live on Cable Channel 21 (we’ll watch to take notes):

As a winter storm moves in, the City of Seattle has activated its Emergency Operations Center and will provide regular updates on its storm response beginning at 5:00 p.m. today.

At 5:00, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will be joined by representatives from the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle City Light with the latest information on road conditions and power systems.

A report from WSB’er Olivia downtown: “Snow falling fast downtown. The Seattle symphony 8pm performance of The Messiah still is on, but they will let you exchange tickets for other performances – very nice and understanding. Photo from 3rd and spring.”


5:07 PM UPDATE: Running updates from mayor’s briefing: Whatever wind we get is expected to peak early tomorrow morning (1 am-ish). SDOT crews being called in, 2 trucks to be dedicated to West Seattle Bridge and Viaduct (as has been SOP much of the past week). Call 684-3000 IF you have a power outage – none reported so far. Cover exterior faucets/wrap pipes if you haven’t done it already. No trash pickup happened today and that’s likely to be the case TFN; as mentioned previously, when your trash finally is picked up, you’ll be able to put out double the usual amount. Re: street clearing, mayor reiterates they just can’t get to most side streets. Libraries and community centers would likely be warming center if power goes out (we have checked and Delridge/Southwest appear to be the ones most likely to have generator power for that). Briefing over, mayor promises to be back at 7 pm with the latest.

5:18 PM UPDATE: A few road pix from earlier – Daniel sent this one looking at SW Morgan from Morgan Junction, just before dusk:

Remember, that’s the same spot with the closure sign for WESTBOUND – downhill – reported a couple hours ago. Also, Darren’s photo from Arbor Heights shows 35th/105th was still icy even before the new snow:

If you’re going to the South Sound, the News Tribune newspaper is trying this kind of frequent-update format tonight on what’s otherwise their “crime blog” – see their updates here.

5:33 PM UPDATE: The fabulous Alice Enevoldsen has made an updated version of the Google Map she created last night based on WSB’er road reports. Keep in mind, conditions will keep changing, but as of very early evening:

View Larger Map

SDOT tweet just in: “With snow falling, SDOT bringing all 27 plows/sanders out to clear streets. Unless the trip is essential, please consider not driving.”

6:03 PM UPDATE: News from outside WS – Colorado TV is reporting that a 737 has crashed near Denver International Airport. No further details. Continental Flight 1404 from Houston, says KIRO TV. Also tracking on Twitter search. Looking for a streaming source of info from CO. This link says ‘went off runway,’ not crash. Anyway, we won’t continuously update this here – just wanted to alert you to a big story happening outside WS.

6:17 PM UPDATE: Wind’s picking up here at WSB HQ. Cliff Mass updated his site and seems to be posting more frequent notes about storm developments.

6:25 PM UPDATE: Official city news release, mostly based on the aforementioned 5 pm briefing, with a 7 pm briefing coming up next. We will start the evening snow post with the 7 pm briefing. Here’s the news release text:

At a briefing this evening at the Emergency Operations
Center, Mayor Greg Nickels announced that a fleet of 27 snow plows are
clearing Seattle roads and seven utility repair crews stand ready to
respond as a winter storm hits the region.

The city of Seattle activated its Emergency Operations Center at 2 pm
on Saturday, coordinating responses by the Department of Transportation,
Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, Human Services, Police,
Fire and Parks departments.

Snow and ice removal crews will continue clearing arterial roads
through the night. Road conditions may become icy tonight as
temperatures drop. Two trucks will be dedicated to the West Seattle
Bridge and the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The Seattle Department of
Transportation is urging residents only to drive if necessary.

A primary concern tonight is expected to be high winds, particular in
east King County. At this hour, there are no power outages within the
city of Seattle, but City Light is prepared to call in as many crews as
needed if conditions change.

Three severe weather shelters remain open at least through Monday
night: City Hall, Frye Hotel, and Seattle Center Pavilion B. Shelter
beds are still available. Last night, 143 people stayed at the three
shelters. During the day, Seattle residents can find warm, public space
at Parks Department community centers and the Seattle Center. The
following community centers will be open on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.:
Garfield Community Center, Rainier Beach Community Center, South Park
Community Center, Rainier Community Center and Hiawatha Community

Seattle’s recycling and garbage transfer stations will be closed
tomorrow. Solid waste customers who were missed for pickup today should
bring in their containers until next week.

Seattle Public Utilities reminds residents to prepare water pipes for
cold weather. Shut off outside faucets, drain the water and protect them
by insulating them with rags or foam covers. Pipes in exposed or
unheated areas (attics, basements and garages) should be wrapped with
tape and insulating materials, available at local hardware stores.
Drain and remove all outdoor hoses, and shut off and drain in-ground
sprinkler systems.

Residents are also urged to protect indoor sink pipes that are against
exterior walls, by opening under-sink cabinet doors, allowing heat to
circulate. During severe cold, allow the faucet farthest from your front
door to slowly drip cold water. Set your thermostat no lower than 55
degrees Fahrenheit, day or night (even if you are away).

If a water pipe breaks, immediately close the main shut-off valve to
stop excessive flooding. If you cannot turn off the main shut-off valve,
SPU customers can call (206) 386-1800 and a crew will turn off the water
at the meter for a standard service charge.

Safety advice: Since the snow is blowing around somewhat already, even if you have a covered porch, it may be slick. Just stepped outside for a second to check conditions, almost fell on the slick concrete stoop, because snow had blown onto it. Looks like a new inch or so since this started @ 2:20 pm. Been almost exactly a week now since those first flakes LAST Saturday night.

6:34 PM UPDATE: Tom F has sent pix from along the road, after a trip to Holy Rosary Tree Lot in Admiral to buy a tree. Here’s one, more to come:

This one’s from Morgan Junction, looking at the north end of Thriftway:

7 PM: Launching an evening post for all updates and comments from here on out. Find it here. Thanks!

123 Replies to "West Seattle snow and ice: Saturday morning/afternoon updates"

  • JT December 20, 2008 (10:51 am)

    35th and across the bridge to I 90 was a breeze at 7 am.

  • Darren December 20, 2008 (11:17 am)

    I will be leaving Arbor Heights SW 105th and 35th in a bit to go to the store. I will bring my camera and take pictures of the road and parking lot at Safeway to let everyone know what the roads are like in the area.

  • Minoru December 20, 2008 (11:28 am)

    Commenting as I wait in a loooooong line at the Roxbury Safeway. Everyone’s out shopping, some shelves are already empty or close to it, like milk, cheese and eggs.

  • shane December 20, 2008 (11:42 am)

    Target is pretty picked through for flashlights … QFC was crazy and starting to get a little picked through too

  • sks December 20, 2008 (12:10 pm)

    Westwood in general is packed but easy getting there. Everyone appears to be stocking up.

  • jennie December 20, 2008 (12:27 pm)

    Is there anywhere with a sheet of ice large enough to skate on? I’d love to bust out my skates… (Sorry, I know everyone’s much more concerned about emergency preparedness, but I’m all stocked up and set for weeks!!)

  • hopey December 20, 2008 (12:50 pm)

    What I want to know is where I can still find a sled! I have a 9 yr old arriving this evening and no sled for him to enjoy the snow!

  • mark December 20, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    Just got back from a trip to Burien and all roads are fine (took the long way, on the freeways, rather than Ambaum).

  • mike December 20, 2008 (1:00 pm)

    sounds like some light snow is arriving a little early. Apparently snowing in Olympia already. Cliff Mass has a short little post:
    “Very light snow has made it into SW Washington already….the models often start the light snow 2-3h late..and this an example of it. So light snow is now falling from Shelton to the SW and should get to PS by 2-3 PM…..the easterly flow will slow it up a bit… ”

  • JayDee December 20, 2008 (1:03 pm)

    Hopey, a plastic trash can lid seems to be the impromptu sled of choice on my hill. A sled’s steering abilities are over-rated anyway.

    The worst streets I’ve seen are the ones on Alki–heavy sheets of ice. 61st is caked with ice and thank god it is flat.

    People are parking literally everywhere at Westwood and the QFC is a literal zoo, and the monkeys are not happy.

  • hopey December 20, 2008 (1:14 pm)

    JayDee- thanks! I’d been wracking my brain trying to think of what could be improvised, and the trash can lid hadn’t occurred to me. It’s the perfect size for a young boy, and even has handles. Thanks for the idea!

  • alkigirl December 20, 2008 (1:18 pm)

    Does anyone know the condition of Admiral from 63rd up to California? Would like to venture out to stock up! Thanks.

  • mesmith December 20, 2008 (1:19 pm)

    Jefferson Square Safeway is a zoo as well… No eggs, almost out of milk… lots of other BEvERages left though ;-)

  • homesweethome December 20, 2008 (1:39 pm)

    good, thick cardboard also works well for sledding in a pinch

  • nuni December 20, 2008 (1:50 pm)

    hmm our work holiday party is tonight on the waterfront. Think it’s a good idea to go? 6pm – midnight.

  • AlkiMac December 20, 2008 (1:55 pm)

    Alkigirl, Went up Admiral from Alki to Safeway first thing this morning. No problem at all.

  • JayDee December 20, 2008 (1:57 pm)

    Alkigirl — Admiral is fine from the 60s on up the street — well sanded, no ice in the travel lane. Don’t know what your tires look like, but it should be fine. Also, I’d park down California unless you really want to get frustrated by the parking lot.

  • Junctionite December 20, 2008 (1:58 pm)

    Walked from the Alaska Junction to the Morgan Junction to go to the Thriftway early this afternoon. Forget trying to catch a bus, only saw one 54 in each direction the whole way there. The lines weren’t too bad there.

  • Dustin December 20, 2008 (2:00 pm)

    Just got back from Costco and Westwood Village, what a nightmare!
    Myers Way to 509/99 was fine, however we took 1st Ave. was pretty slick with packed snow.
    Biggest threat out right now are crazy shoppers/drivers (I think they’re all the same breed). Costco was really busy, but they’re used to large crowds and we actually got through the checkout in about 10 minutes. Target is completely over-run and rumors about the lines all the way back to the electronics are TRUE!! You couldn’t pay me to go back there. We also stopped at the Schucks on Roxbury to get chains for the wife’s car and it was a zoo with everyone having had the same idea. Chains ran as $40 and they’re accepting returns. They said they expected to sell out by 4 pm.

  • Dustin December 20, 2008 (2:01 pm)

    *Edit: Schucks on Roxbury is NOT accepting returns.

  • WSB December 20, 2008 (2:08 pm)

    Dustin, co-publisher Patrick’s line from being out earlier was, “Everyone’s DRIVING like it’s mid-May.” Thanks for the chain update. We just posted a note in the main text above with word of chains @ Les Schwab on 4th.

  • Ken December 20, 2008 (2:16 pm)

    re sled substitute.

    I saw 4 kids on a large size folding table just like the one I bought from costco several years ago. I know the foam plastic surface is as slick as a snowboard and steering is optional anyway.

  • AD December 20, 2008 (2:18 pm)

    Harbor Ave & Alki Ave – ICE. Drive slow even though it’s flat.

  • AD December 20, 2008 (2:20 pm)

    Oh, forgot to ask…Is there any where safe to sled? Streets that have no traffic crossing below?

    I witnessed a child nearly get squished by a car. :[

  • dana. December 20, 2008 (2:23 pm)

    flurries in westwood!

  • Peaches December 20, 2008 (2:24 pm)

    Flurries confirmed in north Shorewood.

  • Franci December 20, 2008 (2:25 pm)

    Flurries on Gatewood too.

  • MargL December 20, 2008 (2:27 pm)

    Snow in Arbor Heights, too. Arrrgh.

  • ASH December 20, 2008 (2:28 pm)

    Snow at Monroe and California!

  • Aim December 20, 2008 (2:28 pm)

    It’s coming down in Highland Park.

  • Peaches December 20, 2008 (2:29 pm)

    Buckle up, boys and girls. Here we go again! What’s that?. . . Sound of oven buzzer signaling fresh cookies are ready?! Gotta run!

  • holly December 20, 2008 (2:30 pm)

    little flurries in seaview!

  • angelescrest December 20, 2008 (2:31 pm)

    We have an extra sled, if you’re still in need.

  • JanS December 20, 2008 (2:32 pm)

    AD…sledding at West Seattle golf course…no cars…just fun…

  • b'smomma December 20, 2008 (2:36 pm)

    snow flurries on 48th &Admiral!

  • Dustin December 20, 2008 (2:37 pm)

    It’s HEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeRRE….

  • Alice December 20, 2008 (2:51 pm)

    You know this already – but Junction True Value is OUT of Ice Melt.

    If you like I’ll start a new Google Map in about 1.5 hours, but I gotta run my errands first. I need to pick up my holds from the library before it’s TOOOOO LAAAAATE!


  • P December 20, 2008 (2:52 pm)

    Peaches…ummmmm cookies….
    nuni, free party, GO! There are hotels on the waterfront… Actually I had not a problem leaving west seattle at 12:00 today. Roads are dry and bare.

  • P December 20, 2008 (2:52 pm)

    Alice you are the map goddess! WSB, you should have a new section, Alice’s Maps.

  • Barb December 20, 2008 (2:55 pm)

    Here it comes! A big band of white coming across the sound from Bremerton!

  • cami December 20, 2008 (2:55 pm)

    LIGHT snow at Alki.

  • Paula December 20, 2008 (2:55 pm)

    Having a blast reading everyone’s entries. Thanks to WSB for keeping us all connected.

    Nuni – my son works at the Marriott Waterfront and just left for work. I’d say go and have a great time!

  • mar3c December 20, 2008 (2:56 pm)

    took the 54 from the junction to westwood around 11. bus (articulated) was normal getting there, but the driver was a cranky s.o.b. with a lead foot and a busted chain. did 2 hrs of christmas/essentials shopping. short bus going back was s.r.o., but they seem to be running every 30-40 minutes.
    long lines at qfc and target (second confirmation of the electronics dept-length line) but all checkstands were open and things were moving okay. bring some patience if you must go there.
    the chained buses handled the barton hill just fine.
    flurries starting in fairmount springs.
    stocked with booze, batteries, and bread. and cookies.
    if the power goes, we have gas fireplaces, gas grill, 2 coolers, and plenty of natural ice (snow) to keep essentials cold in the garage. (no sense in feeding the wildlife with hard-won groceries.)

  • Brenda December 20, 2008 (3:00 pm)

    3:00 pm Snow starting at Lincoln Park.

  • Mo Zwerling December 20, 2008 (3:01 pm)

    Snowing at 47th & Erskine

  • Mo December 20, 2008 (3:03 pm)

    People are starting to get really crabby out there. Just returned from the Jeff Square Safeway. Lines all the way down the aisles; parking lot is a nightmare — don’t even bother. Park on the side streets!

  • P December 20, 2008 (3:08 pm)

    Light snow in the U district…and I hear from a friend its really coming down in Auburn. As for the bus drivers, (the coffee shop I work at is a bus potty stop) the drivers are telling me about the riders. Most are really nice and very glad to see them coming, but of course there are the ones that are chewing them out for either not stopping on a hill (gee like that’s smart), yelling because they are behind schedule and the rider is now late for work…hello, get up earlier, etc. The stories are interesting to say the least.

  • rykrite December 20, 2008 (3:11 pm)

    Snowing at 45th and Brandon near the nursery.
    Husband just got back from Morgan St. Thriftway and he said he’d never seen it like that before, ever. It looks like they weren’t running out of things, though, as he was able to get milk and eggs as requested.
    Praying that the power stays on, but as long as it does, we’re stocked up and ready to go!

  • mannamc December 20, 2008 (3:16 pm)

    There is A LOT of those teeny little flakes here at 37th & Dakota. Its going sidways in parts too.

  • Caitlin December 20, 2008 (3:17 pm)

    Snowing at 37th and Thistle.

  • iggy December 20, 2008 (3:20 pm)

    Much as I don’t like the idea of another 4 to 8 inches of snow, I’m happy we’re getting the snow instead of the wind. Being out in Enumclaw with 90 mph gusts and no snow would be scary (to put it mildly). I’m still recovering from the December 06 storm and spending the night in a walk in closet in the center of the house away from windows as shingles blew off the house and trees fell around it. What saved my sanity was calling Seattle City Light around 2 am, at the height of the storm. Figured they would have an updated weather forecast. My Qwest land line phone was working fine, and I took it in the closet. I got right through to a City Light operator who said that no one was calling at that time. Everyone probably too scared. We actually chatted for about 20 minutes about the storm, city politics, etc.
    I grew up on the East Coast and had been in blizzards and hurricanes, but I think that night in Arbor Heights was one of the scariest I ever spent.

  • jgo December 20, 2008 (3:21 pm)

    The snow has started at 14th and Myrtle by the SSCC.

  • rlv December 20, 2008 (3:28 pm)

    Delivery truck sighting: while I was waiting for the 56 bus in front of Met Market 1 hour ago, the Wilcox delivery guy was bringing in a dolly of milk, and another dolly of eggs. Hurry!

  • def December 20, 2008 (3:33 pm)

    I just drove from Burien to the Sunrise Heights area and back. Route was Ambaum north to Roxbury, Roxbury west to 35th, 35th north to Holden. (Then the same in reverse to get back to Burien.)

    Ambaum/Roxbury/35th were all OK. Depending on the area, the road surface could be packed snow that was chewed up by vehicles with chains, packed snow with tire tracks worn down to bare pavement, or dirty slush over bare pavement. I’m sure there are still some slick spots out there, but if you drive sanely you’ll be fine.

    Once I turned off 35th onto Holden, I only drove a few blocks east to 31st. In those few blocks, Holden was packed snow that had been chewed up by vehicles with chains and was starting to become dirty slush. I didn’t go futher east down the hill towards Delridge, so I don’t know how Holden is down there.

    I was driving a 4WD truck with all-terrain tires, but I saw plenty of 2WD vehicles with normal street tires and they were doing fine on the main roads.

    And at the moment, there is a very fine snow (like grains of sand) falling here in Burien.

  • phil December 20, 2008 (3:35 pm)

    We have tickets to see Plaid Tidings at ARtsWest tonight, but would need to come from Snohomish. It seems to me that we would be best not driving that way, but perhaps someone can comment on the roads around California and Alaska as to whether they get impassable, as well as the West Seattle Bridge?


  • WSB December 20, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    Phil, in addition to reports here, you can see the latest bridge and Fauntleroy/Alaska cameras (among others) on our traffic page:
    Any time you go to the page OR refresh it while on it, it will pick up a new image from the traffic cams, so it’s “almost live.”

  • Sue December 20, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    iggy, in the 2006 windstorm I also had some great conversations in the middle of the night with City Light operators. They thanked me for being one of the few people to not yell at them.

  • Bogie December 20, 2008 (3:47 pm)

    Any word on trash service today? Our normal day is Friday, but knew it was delayed till today. And we forgot to put it out of course! Doesn’t look like they probably came by anyhow. Do we put it out tomrrow? Monday? Or just wait till next week?

  • Mags December 20, 2008 (3:48 pm)

    I’ve been looking at the doppler…this storm is really big!! I think I’ll make dinner now just in case the power goes out. Maybe make some decaf to add to my Bailey’s.

  • hopey December 20, 2008 (3:54 pm)

    I would really appreciate any updates on Roxbury/Olson/Myers Way, as I need to head to the airport this evening. My husband is telling me to leave now, but considering that he hasn’t even left Newark yet, I’m thinking that’s an awfully long wait at the airport for me…

  • roguedelux December 20, 2008 (4:00 pm)

    Hopey –
    Your best best for getting to the airport without going down Olsen is to travel through White Center into Burien. I’d be surprised if it were safe to travel Olsen in the next hour or two.

  • Roger December 20, 2008 (4:01 pm)


    We traveled from Burien on 509 to Myers Way/Roxbury to Westwood and then home near Thistle/CA ave about 35 mins ago.
    All roads were passable, we used AWD on Trenton and then Thistle to be safe, but may not have been needed.
    Myers had one lane clear each way at the time, considering the snow rates though, I’d be a little concerned about waiting too long.
    We originally thought we’d head to Tukwila area and aborted that plan for Burien when we saw the traffic going into Tukwila. (Just in case you’d wait down there.) Also the traffic out of the airport east on 518 was heavy, too!

  • mike December 20, 2008 (4:03 pm)

    bogie, I believe the word about trash is that if you didn’t get it picked up today, then you can put out twice as much next week.

    hopey, yeah, and if his flight happens to get canceled, it would be even worse for you! I’d wait at least until his plane leaves the ground. But that’s just me. :)

  • Dustin December 20, 2008 (4:04 pm)

    Hopey – My wife and I traveled Roxbury/Olson/Myers Way this morning (to Costco and back) in a two wheel drive sedan with no chains and did fine. They’ve sanded and plowed the heck out of it. My advice, leave now while it’s not too crazy snow wise, and then if things get worse you can always use an alternate route back.

  • Rhonda December 20, 2008 (4:04 pm)

    Hopey can’t tell you about roxbury/olson/myers way but I 518 and 509 were driveable at 1:30pm when I flew in from CA.

  • hopey December 20, 2008 (4:06 pm)

    See, I’m thinking driving through unincorporated KingCo will be worse than Seattle arterials. Plus I’m less familiar with that route.

    fwiw, I grew up and learned to drive in Chicago snow and ice, so my cold weather driving reflexes are good. I have an AWD Subaru but no chains.

    My husband is not due in until late (10pm) so I’m considering waiting until there is some packed accumulation on the road before leaving home.

  • Paula December 20, 2008 (4:07 pm)

    Hopey – think of Shuttle Express (online or in the phone book). For $25-$30 you can wait at home for hubby to arrive. You save parking fees, towing fees if you were to get stuck, etc., and save the worry of being out in the storm. Just a thought…

  • Darren December 20, 2008 (4:08 pm)

    We went out to do some shopping for supplies and went first to QFC and saw the lines halfway down the length of the store, went to Starbucks at Westwood Village, too long of line….then to White Center for lunch and off to Safeway. Roads were all pretty good before the snow. Morgan at 35th is closed but people still going up and down the hill. I have some picture that I will send.

  • iggy December 20, 2008 (4:10 pm)

    Hopey, It’s snowing heavily enough that conditions will deteriorate markedly even in the next hour, and after dark, things always get worse. This points to leaving now. On the other hand, the EWR flight info shows delays and cancellations, so if it’s a nonstop, I would do as Mike suggests and wait until it leaves the ground.

  • Ali December 20, 2008 (4:14 pm)

    Hi, you all may know this, but the Thriftway on Morgan is closing early- at 7:00. We just got back- it is still packed!

  • WSB December 20, 2008 (4:16 pm)

    yes, we will be reposting periodically but trash is basically “put out double next week” and both yard waste AND recycle, if you were missed this week. however, if christmas is your usual pickup day, different rules entirely. we will keep up with latest from SPU …

  • JT December 20, 2008 (4:17 pm)

    Walgreens on 35th had milk and batteries and short lines at 3:30.

  • Dustin December 20, 2008 (4:18 pm)

    Your Chicago driving skills are probably better than 95% of the rest of the people on the roads right now…and therein lies the problem. Too many people who don’t know jack about what it means to drive in a real snow storm (me included…hence why I’m stayin’ put) are bound to be out on the roads. I’d say if you aren’t interested in leaving now and waiting for his potentially delayed plan…go with the shuttle.

  • Dustin December 20, 2008 (4:19 pm)


  • dotty December 20, 2008 (4:19 pm)

    My GF works at the airport and her flight left at 3, dropped her off, it was a bit of a madhouse. She said that they were going to start cancelling flights due to wind and ice coming from the south, we’ll see, but you should definately wait to head down, his flight might not even land here if it gets crazy.

  • hopey December 20, 2008 (4:22 pm)

    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I was able to talk with my husband before his plane took off, and he said he’ll just plan on taking a cab. If for some reason it looks better later this evening I may venture out (I keep thinking that 4 hrs from now, the plows/sanders will likely have been out and the arterials mostly safe) but I won’t count on it.

  • Luke December 20, 2008 (4:30 pm)

    On our way past the Roxbury Safeway from McClendon’s (btw – they have been out of snow shovels for two days now) we saw two delivery trucks at Safeway. Hopefully they are getting all stocked up.

  • Katrina December 20, 2008 (4:32 pm)

    Just got back from a quick trip to Metropolitan Market driving up Admiral from 60th. Admiral is still pretty clear, I felt safe driving with regular tires. Averages are 20-25mph going up, and 10-20mph coming down.

    At Met Market I found parking quickly (could have been luck). Customers are steady, all lines open with an average of 5 people in each and they still had stock in bread, milk and eggs. They were restocking eggs while I was there (which had the most holes.) I also noticed holes in juice, bakery and their prepared foods area. Employees very friendly – as were the other customers. :-)

    Oh, and the library closed at 4 (I JUST made it in.)

  • cruiser December 20, 2008 (4:38 pm)


    An FYI on arriving at Seatac duting/after a snow storm. We arrived early Jan 06 at Seatac with 10 week old baby. The line for cabs was 2/3 the lenght of the baggage claim buses were not running. It will prob. NOT be like that tonight but for your info I hired a car for 24hrs from the desk and crawled home coming tru downtown burien/16th to White Center then onwards to WS.

  • Onya December 20, 2008 (4:41 pm)

    The liquor store in the junction is crazazy! I was number 56 in line. It was worth the wait to get much needed sledding and igloo making supplies for the big kids playing in the snow. I dont even really mind that my sled is a dutch oven lid! Wahoo!

  • ellenater December 20, 2008 (4:43 pm)

    We lucked out and went to PCC last night. We lucked out today and found chains at Roxbury Auto Parts. They were very nice. There were a lot of people in there buying chains! We also got some wood, etc. at QFC. I just hope we don’t get the wind! Me no likey the wind. :( Those stories you guys are telling are freaking me out!

  • WSB December 20, 2008 (4:44 pm)

    Re: who’s closed, who’s open, what’s changed, we now have, in addition to noting it in our running updates, also created a section right at the very top of this post, so you can check there from time to time to see if anything’s been added. Thanks again to all!

  • Sue December 20, 2008 (4:47 pm)

    I cannot believe the speed people are driving on Fauntleroy this evening – tons of traffic, racing at speeds faster than they should be if the pavement was dry. I’m in awe.

  • Mary December 20, 2008 (4:48 pm)

    If memory serves correctly, Shuttle Express requires reservations and I think I read a couple days ago that they may be full up – I’d check on availability as soon as possible if you want that to be an option.

    Two years ago we had friends coming in from Minnesota when the snow hit. There weren’t enough cabs – I’m not sure there were any at all. They tried the bus (#560) but it wasn’t running at all. They only got home with the good spirit of another passenger who gave them a ride.

    I learned to drive in the snow and ice in Alaska and agree about waiting until there is snow pack. Plus hopefully by that time the folks who really don’t know what they are doing will be off the roads by then.

    My advice would be to let your hubby call you when he gets into the airport and be ready to head out to pick him up then pending cab availability. Also remember — do you TRUST all cab drivers’ snow driving skills? I’m sure some are good, but I don’t like to take chances on snow and ice with our hills with drivers I don’t know.

    If you left early, you would risk getting stuck and/or finding his flight delayed/cancelled/rerouted. If you wait, he’ll be safe, warm and dry at the airport waiting for you, and you wouldn’t be taking unnecessary risks.

  • WSB December 20, 2008 (4:50 pm)

    I just checked Shuttle Express website – it says “We are no longer accepting new reservations to and from the airport through Sunday night, Dec. 21st”

  • Bozy December 20, 2008 (4:51 pm)

    Roomate just told me the 54 is NOT running from Downtown.

  • kirida December 20, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    Just left the Safeway at Roxbury, having given up on getting any groceries. We had our toddler with us and there was no way we could wait in the insane lines crammed with 30+ people stretched from the register to about mid-aisle. Instead we headed to 7-11 got everything we needed.

  • charlabob December 20, 2008 (5:00 pm)

    Here’s some advice — stay home, people are insane :-).

    Here’s some advice to the insane — if you want to X-country ski or walk down the middle of a fairly mainly traveled side street, wear something light or reflective — don’t count on my seeing you white beard. If you have a big ass SUV, don’t assume you can run yield signs without fear of consequences. If you want to close your street because *you’ve* decided that no one should drive on it, you might want to get city acquiescense in doing it — or “enforce” your desire with more than a couple of muddy orange cones.

    I did get through a fairly short line at Admiral Safeway and they weren’t out of anything I really wanted. That was 45 minutes ago ymmv.

    c – who, fortunately, waited in line at the liquor store so has a few ounces of good mood enhancer

  • alkigirl December 20, 2008 (5:04 pm)

    Food shoppers: I was at PCC on California at about 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. While busy, there was PLENTY of food, including the basics (eggs, milk, bread etc) plus some other very yummy treats. The lines were moderate (two or three folks). (Yes, it is more expensive!) I then went over to Bartell’s – busy but manageable; then over to Met Market where it looked like a “doorbuster” sale in the check-out stand area. Got a latte and got outta there, having my PCC purchases safely in my car. Thanks for tips on driving Admiral, folks. Everyone be safe!

    Thanks for info on Admiral

  • Barb December 20, 2008 (5:09 pm)

    Gosh, not many cabbies know how to drive in this stuff and are as tentative, if not more so than most. I’d say go yourself, or hire a town car – but ask if they are prepared to drive in it.

  • p December 20, 2008 (5:19 pm)

    road report from the U district, 99 southbound is pretty good, light traffic, partial covered with snow. Bridge into West Seattle, not too bad, starting to get compact snow. Passed a plow headed east bound at 4:55 PM. Followed to Fauntleroy and Raymond, not bad, but there are many many people over driving the conditions. just because you have a 4 X 4 does not mean you can go the speed limit! Also, saw several cars with young drivers (high schoolish) and they clearly did not know how to drive in this weather. I learned how to drive in South Dakota in the dead of winter, so I know what I am doing…Headed from Fauntleroy and Raymond to Arbor Heights next….

  • Darren December 20, 2008 (5:23 pm)

    snowing hard in Arbor Heights

  • bcoy December 20, 2008 (5:25 pm)

    We just got back from a run to Westwood Village. If you don’t like crowds….don’t go. It’s a zoo out there. Lines at QFC were going most of the way down the aisles. We saw a lady walking into QFC with 3+ inch heels. Needless to say, she took a tumble. She was ok, but her coffee spilled all over. Perhaps a better choice of footwear would be recommended.

  • FabulousEm December 20, 2008 (5:29 pm)

    It’s snowing like crazy in Westwood. Been snowing since about 3. Yikes!

  • WSB December 20, 2008 (5:31 pm)

    Anyone who does drive, IF you can take a pic safely – at a stoplight, with a cameraphone, perhaps – send one. Still seriously snowing out there. But we get to view that thru a nice, nonmoving HOUSE window.

  • ASH December 20, 2008 (5:34 pm)

    My husband just made it home from downtown and Thritway. He says it was slow going and it sucked! STAY HOME!!

  • Dustin December 20, 2008 (5:53 pm)

    Wind is definitely picking up in Shorewood.

  • Onya December 20, 2008 (5:53 pm)

    I was tailgated from Morgan to the Junction by a cell-phone-yakking teen who clearly had no clue what she was doing. Nor did she have any regard for anyone else. One dumb move can change lives forever.

    Groceries are stocked, house is warm, stew is in the pot. Thank God for the comforts we have.

  • p December 20, 2008 (6:00 pm)

    Ok, back in Arbor Heights from Fauntleroy and Raymond, route, Fauntleroy to Alaska, up 35th left on Barton, right on 26th Ave SW to 109th and 28th Ave SW. 35th is compact snow, but drove fine. Same with all other roads we drove. Definately much different at this end, more wind and heavier snow coming down.

  • Alice December 20, 2008 (6:02 pm)

    Hi Y’all.

    The map now incorporates everything in this post since about 1pm. (I ignored the 7am stuff, too long ago).

    I am sorta against the idea of marking anything ask “green” while the snow is falling like this, and like WSB said, conditions are changing fast, so don’t assume it’s exactly the same now as it was when the map was last updated.

    If you’ve got updates, comment here, and include both cross streets so I can get it right on the map.

    Enjoy, and DON’T DRIVE!


  • d December 20, 2008 (6:09 pm)

    MSNBC correspondent in Concord, MA just reported that we (Seattle!) are about to break or are breaking some kind of 1976 snowfall record?

    Can that be right? Really?

    Maybe he was referring to the 1-2′ feet predicted for the passes?

  • Darren December 20, 2008 (6:10 pm)

    Snowing and very windy in Arbor Heights. Snow blowing onto our cover porch.

  • d December 20, 2008 (6:12 pm)

    Also, forgot, Hopey:

    About ShuttleExpress.com

    Shuttles might be available TO the AIRPORT (speculating about FROM the airport) from various hotels which are clearly linked/listed on their website.

    You just have to get to the hotels. If you call the shuttle office at the airport, you can find out what hotel they might drop off your husband and pick him up there.

    Good luck!

  • Alice December 20, 2008 (6:15 pm)

    Thanks p! That’s exactly the level of detail I need to keep this map up-to-date!

  • WSB December 20, 2008 (6:15 pm)

    Re: records, still looking but here’s the monthly snowfall going back many years and I think we’d have to have a lot more to break some of this:

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man December 20, 2008 (6:16 pm)

    6:15–snowin’ like a mo-fo on Grahram street. Debating between lighting a fire and watching the rest of the Arizona/BYU bowl game or heading toward Beveridge Place. Hmmmm….


  • p December 20, 2008 (6:17 pm)

    Onya, I agree, teens really should not be out driving in this weather. Parents please take note!

  • Pablo December 20, 2008 (6:17 pm)

    We just got back about an hour ago from the Burien Fred Meyer’s. Lines there were long, of course, but they did still have most groceries and some flashlights. The roads were a little tough between 1st and Ambaum. I’ve got quite a bit of experience driving in the snow and I was glad for it because our little Metro was definitely sliding around in a few places. Be safe everyone. The roads are doable but be safe because there’s a whole lot of bad drivers.

  • hopey December 20, 2008 (6:17 pm)

    Right now I am thinking a rental car is a good backup idea… if there is one to be had.

    I may still venture out. We’ll see what conditions are like in about 3 hours. I’m pretty confident with my packed-snow driving skills. If I can make it up the hill on my block, that is!

  • cc December 20, 2008 (6:24 pm)

    High heels in snow and ice….that may need to be made into a forum thread…Why would anyone even attempt that? to look good? What comes to my mind is she looks cold and foolish. If you are going to an event or place where only heels are appropriate where boots to and from to keep yourself warm an dry and your dignity intact… because im guessing it wasnt when she was picking herself up off the grocery store floor.

  • p December 20, 2008 (6:25 pm)

    Oh, Alice, for your sledding…
    107th is still a hotbed for sleding, so is 109th and 28th. 109th is a better option, its a dead end so hardly any cars to worry about.

  • cc December 20, 2008 (6:25 pm)

    oops i meant wear not where

  • Darren December 20, 2008 (6:36 pm)

    We have 1 1/2″ of snow since it started snowing this afternoon here in Arbor Heights.

  • JH December 20, 2008 (6:40 pm)

    I had to go to Target just to get a portable DVD player for myself! Both of my TVs aren’t working today. What’s the chance of that happening???? Snow in my satellite dish? Anyway, I was there around 3PM when it started snowing, and the lines were long-but that main line going way back was screwy. I went by that long line and got into another line and it took 2 minutes. For some reason everyone’s in one long line for one checkstand. Duh.

    So is it just me, or is everyone just super friendly today? Everyone was so polite at Target, and I was crabby and wanted out of there. I just couldn’t even get mad at anyone because of the niceness. WTF? Maybe it should snow more here!

  • Darren December 20, 2008 (6:56 pm)

    Just wanted to let everyone know that everyone got off the plane ok in Denver. The plane ran off the runway.

  • Johnston December 20, 2008 (7:02 pm)

    Stuart…interesting stuff! Observations here (North Shorewood): Steady snow, pressure dropping, winds picking up but still light (NE ~5mph). Cliff Mass said earlier the easterly winds off the mountains were much less than the computer models estimated…good news for the foothills, but less wind to keep the snow pushed west. Might mean more than the estimated snow for the lowlands, as the doppler seems to show. (I’m not a meterologist, I just love Cliff Mass and still have the Heathkit weather station I built when I was 15!) :)

  • WSB December 20, 2008 (7:02 pm)

    Thanks! Meantime – we have just started tonight’s new post for all updates and comments here on out. Including the mayor’s promised 7 pm briefing, whenever that happens.


    thanks! – TR

  • Jennifer Wells December 20, 2008 (7:04 pm)

    Alice – thanks for the great map! Dawson, between 40th and 41st
    ave SW has had kids sledding every day of this storm. They are some smart parents who put orange cones at the top of the hill.
    thanks, Jen

  • Manuel W. December 20, 2008 (7:05 pm)

    Just drove back to Morgan Junction from Fremont. About 2″ of snowpack on 99. Aurora bridge and WS bridge starting to get a little squirelly, but driveable at slow speeds. (driving in a Subaru outback w/no chains.) Fauntleroy has a good snowpack going too. Visibility still several hundred feet.

    So far logged about 75 miles since first snowfall. Learning much about driving on snow. Seems like on ice, braking causes more slippage than acceleration, and on snowpack, the opposite holds true.

  • Mary December 20, 2008 (8:45 pm)

    32nd SW & Thistle:

    Wind is picking up a bit, not too bad yet but it’s there. Lots of small snowflakes have been falling since mid-afternoon and no telling how much snow there’ll be by morning.

    Hubby is walking for cigarettes – will update with anything notable.

  • Mary December 20, 2008 (9:00 pm)

    update from 32nd SW & Thistle:

    Hubby reports snowdrifts up to his knees; says he “fell off the curb” a few times. He came back home as an icicle (no surprise).

    Cats don’t want to go outside anymore – can’t blame them.

  • Barb December 20, 2008 (9:58 pm)

    Wind picking up a bunch down at the Point – (Alki/Beach Dr.) It was coming from the north earlier, now I honestly can’t figure it out. It might be changing and coming from the south? Guess it’s that convergence zone…

Sorry, comment time is over.