West Seattle snow: Sunday morning updates

(this post covers snow coverage 8:41 am-12:09 pm Sunday. Follow this link to afternoon coverage)

(photo looking east up Thistle from California near WSB HQ)

(sunrise from 39th and Andover, courtesy of John)

(photo courtesy Babs)
Just got a note from Ron that the #128 bus is stuck on the Morgan hill at 39th, going eastbound. He adds, “Cars are also going west, down the hill and sliding most of the way down. I hope SPD or SDOT closes the road soon.” JayDee “above Alki” is hearing tire-spinning that doesn’t “sound successful.” Here’s the “live” city traffic cam looking northeast from Fauntleroy/Alaska:

Lina just added this comment on our early-morning post: “35th/Roxbury looks sketchy and the few cars i see are going really slow by my house.” 9 AM UPDATE: Just checked the conditions outside our house and at the nearest major intersection. The snow is CRUNCHY — aka ice — different from the softer texture when we were out walking after midnight, and the cars coming down Thistle hill toward California to turn north are going very slowly. This, to boot, is a “plow route.” This is the view looking north on California:

More photos welcome, road conditions and otherwise – editor@westseattleblog.com – official information on city roads is hard to come by so info-sharing like this is the best way to share word of what you’re seeing. A new forecast has just been posted – the “winter weather advisory” has been extended till 3 pm and there’s a prediction of possible “new snow accumulations” this afternoon. (Wondering how the Jingle Bell Run is going downtown? Here’s a pic that Mark from West Seattle just sent out via Twitter – and another one from when it started – quite the crowd!) Wildlife note: Previous post’s comments included a discussion about how to help hummingbirds (the flowers “ours” usually drink from are now frozen over) – here’s a WSB Forums post with a suggestion (and photo). 9:34 AM UPDATE: Shari reports, “I just wanted to let everyone know that 35th Ave SW at Camp Long is a sheet of ice. The road doesn’t look bad so I went and checked and it is ice — I was slipping all over in shoes. I see people helping heading to go down the hill but I haven’t seen anyone coming as though they came up the hill.” We can say the same thing for California/Thistle – just went out with video camera to see if anyone, snowplow included, would drive by, but not a soul – and if you walk out into the street, you can tap inch-high ice ridges with your shoe. Meanwhile, WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli reports from The Junction that THE FARMERS’ MARKET IS ON – 15 to 20 vendors are there now, setting up. He’ll be sending pix in a bit but also reports, “Some of the vendors from outside of Seattle said that things outside of west Seattle were better. They were surprised the roads in WS were so bad. They said the bridge was pretty nasty getting over here.” Earlier in The Junction, Larry got this photo – describing it as “street art”:


In comments elsewhere, Peaches asks whether anyone’s actually seen a snowplow or sander, and Sue says Fauntleroy Way (south of the Triangle area) is “a mess.” ADDED 9:54 AM: Pamela McCarty from Nico and Zoe Toys sends this photo of icy 36th SW, looking north toward Morgan (that’s the back side of U-Haul):

Outside WSB HQ, wind’s kicking up, blowing snow off the tree branches, and of course creating that dangerous thing known as WIND CHILL … 10:05 AM: Stephen Hughes-Jelen sends this report from Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) in The Junction: “The sun is out, and melting the surface making the roadways extremely slippery. Wendy & I came down 35th from High Point earlier without a problem on snow tires, but I suspect that chains are going to be required for the return trip unless the sanding trucks get out there. California heading South from Andover was sheet ice and now extremely hazardous. Cars are traveling very slowly.” Not far from there, here’s a Christopher Boffoli photo of the Farmers’ Market, just before it opened:

And another one:

Christopher says the Farmers’ Market program director was there briefly and: “… she told me that she lives in Wallingford and that the roads there were just as bad as they are in West Seattle. She said her immediate thought was that they should cancel the farmers markets. But then she thought she should check and see how many farmers and vendors were already on the road. Many were so they decided to open.” 10:22 AM UPDATE: Just so you know, there’s no official city webpage with bulletins on closed roads so we’re monitoring various sources including the scanner, which has lots of chatter about roads, though what we’re hearing right now is mostly elsewhere in the city. Here’s the latest “live” picture from the West Seattle Bridge cam, pointing east from the high rise (whenever you refresh this page, or our Traffic page, you’ll see the newest pic from that camera):

10:33 AM: From the comments: “The Charlestown Hill (at 46th) is closed at the bottom of the hill but not marked at the top. Please do not attempt to go down this hill — it is solid ice under the snow.” (That’s a tough hill in ANY condition.) Meanwhile, a photo from the Alki Point end of Alki Ave, from Meredith:

Many have asked about the rest of the city. We’ll add the links to other neighborhood news sites that are covering the weather. First:
My Ballard
Capitol Hill Seattle
Central District News
Will add to the list as we find updated elsewhere-in-Seattle snow coverage. We’re hearing a lot of Beacon Hill road trouble on the scanner, but BH’s neighborhood blog isn’t updated yet. WEST SEATTLE ROAD BULLETIN, 10:40 AM: Scanner says Highland Park Way is going to be closed, “from the top,” per SPD. And from Westwood, Annie sent this photo of bus trouble on SW Barton:

More from Westwood vicinity – check the comments for Roger’s report on his “failed attempt to get to the airport” heading through Westwood etc. from Upper Fauntleroy/Gatewood. Also, this photo is just in from Bruce, taken within the past hour at 35th/Thistle:

Bruce says, “The red Explorer to the left seemed to start it all by getting stuck and sliding backwards- this caused the jam up and caused the 21 to stop and have a very hard time getting going again. It eventually made its way kind of sideways up the hill. I thought Metro chained up its buses. Just before this I noticed the 22 and the 560 going up 35th as well. Maybe they were on snow routes.” 10:56 AM: Event cancellation: Just got word that today’s Seattle Glee Club concert at Peace Lutheran in Gatewood is canceled, no reschedule date yet. Let us know of any other event cancellations. And of course as the day and night continue, we’ll watch the school situation too. Road crews, by the way, are just getting the closure signs up at Highland Park Way/Holden in H-Park. More Junction-area photos just in from Christopher, starting with these:

Lots more road reports coming in on the comments too – thanks for sharing there and also via e-mail. For those asking about Admiral, JayDee sent this within the past hour: “56 eastbound stuck on Admiral; 51 having trouble. No chains on buses. 55 going north south on CA. Admiral has slick spots, a ford sedan vainly spinning wheels. The odd fool speeding down Admiral. Walking crunchy but doable.” 11:10 AM ROAD BULLETIN: Southwest Holden to be closed westbound at 16th, “a couple cars went sideways” per scanner. They’re also calling for a sand truck. ANOTHER EVENT CANCELLATION: The WSB Forum members’ holiday party/donation drive at Big Al Brewing set for this afternoon has just been postponed. We’re going to start a separate post listing any and all cancellations we get, in addition to adding them here as they come in. 11:19 AM UPDATE: From Pat at the foot of the California SW hill south of Morgan Junction (map): “Just talked to a woman who spent an hour waiting for the bus at the bottom of the hill – she witnessed 4 car to car accidents and one pedestrian hit – I assume lightly since there were no sirens. I spent some time turning cars away at the top of the hill due to the snow/ice getting polished by earlier drivers and most every car gettingsideways. It should be closed until sanded but noting posted as of 5 minutes ago.” Also a road report from a West Seattleite who tried to take his daughter to the hospital because she got hurt sledding — he says “Admiral is a sheet of ice” and he had to turn back around. (The lack of a hospital in West Seattle is brought up in many issue discussions … including, what happens when serious road work isolates us further?) On a separate note, just heard from Holly in Seaview who is back from Morgan Junction and says almost every car is spinning out – best to stay home and follow the advice shown near her dog Cali:

Ominous exchange on the scanner just now – dispatcher telling an officer that last they’d heard, “SDOT is out of signs for closing down roads.” 11:34 AM UPDATE: From Mel in comments, advice (she HAS to drive today for work): “… by far the best route around is Delridge (way better than 35th) and taking the lowland water route around Alki instead of Admiral or California. Very easy drive this morning.” Junction, not so easy – here’s yet another of Christopher’s photos:

In comments, Mary says there’s an additional hazard to dangerous driving conditions: “… a kid in blue coat is standing at the corner of 35th & Willow throwing snowballs at cars.” Side note: Several of our other WSB pages have other angles on snow, too – follow the link to the Blogs page, for example, to see what blog authors around West Seattle are posting; the Traffic page has “live” camera links, from West Seattle, The Bridge, and relevant I-5, 99, and even White Center views; the More page has mentions of West Seattle from citywide media. ADDED 11:46 AM: Here is a GREAT Alki overview from Chris Benning:

11:55 AM UPDATE: Help may be on the way. Recent snowplow sightings, in comments and this one just received via e-mail: “Sanding truck and snow plow are now going down Barton – just going by 40th, down toward Fauntleroy Center.” Which is good, because we’ve just received word that conditions are pretty bad down there. We’re going to use those pictures to start our afternoon post at the top of the page, now that it’s noon. Look for the link to that momentarily. 12:08 PM: Please join the afternoon coverage here. Thanks!

38 Replies to "West Seattle snow: Sunday morning updates"

  • JenV December 14, 2008 (9:03 am)

    King 5 is reporting from West Seattle right now- said the roads are pretty bad, it’s icy, etc. They’re reporting from OLG on 35th.

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (9:18 am)

    Funny because we carped in the overnight WSB coverage that nobody was out here at the “highest point in the city” for the 11 pm news. So they’re there now!

  • p December 14, 2008 (9:29 am)

    Go Roberta!

  • khamilton December 14, 2008 (10:14 am)

    The Charleston Hill (at 46th) is closed at the bottom of the hill but not marked at the top. Please do not attempt to go down this hill — it is solid ice under the snow.

  • ann December 14, 2008 (10:17 am)

    Too bad we can’t close off some streets for sledding. This is excellent sledding material!! :)

  • d. December 14, 2008 (10:23 am)

    anyone know if the buses are running?? the 54 in particular…

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (10:31 am)

    I’ve been watching the Metro status page and haven’t seen anything yet. However, it could be lagging and we are adding anecdotal reports of bus trouble sightings as we get them.

  • Roger December 14, 2008 (10:33 am)

    Hi All…

    We have just returned home from a failed attempt to get to the airport. Getting from Rose to CA ave southbound seemed ok. CA to Holden slow but semi-navigable, Holden slushy/part frozen to 35th. (Holden is supposed to be plowed/cleaned a/c to the city map link, not so much!!!).
    Made it on 35th/Holden to 35th Southern before loosing traction and skiing near the curb. Cars and trucks having trouble approaching and leaving 35th/Thistle intersection. Saw two taxis skidding their way north on 35th from that intersection. Too many cars fishtailing around us to feel safe going to airport. The ice helped us uturn back to Holden. We took 41st ave to Rose and it was also packed ice, sloooow going. When we turned back to Rose street, let’s just say the four people we passed stopped to gawk at us trying to go west-bound downhill…we waved and smiled to be neighborly. It was the slowest I have ever driven down Rose…but, it was very scenic and we enjoyed the view across to the snowy hills on the peninsula.

  • Julie December 14, 2008 (10:38 am)

    Any word on Admiral Way either direction???

  • LRM December 14, 2008 (10:49 am)

    Hay Cafe Rozellas is open for a nice hot cup of Egg nog latte today rain or SNOW, they will be open on the 25th of Decemer they were open last year and the year before
    Happy Holidays and say warm.

  • sam December 14, 2008 (10:57 am)

    yeah- the Metro website seems to be slow in providing info.
    any-one know if the 125 is making its way up/down Dawson/21st/Oregon in btwn SSCC and Delridge ?

  • Jenny December 14, 2008 (11:04 am)

    I’ve been watching for about 90 minutes and I haven’t yet seen a bus go by on Admiral, though cars are. I’m just a couple of blocks away from the intersection of Cali & Admiral. I really wish Metro would post something about bus reroutes too!

  • Karen December 14, 2008 (11:05 am)

    I wonder if there will still be a Christmas ship tonight?

  • Sue December 14, 2008 (11:31 am)

    The worst part of this is that because SDOT didn’t do the plowing/sanding they needed to do earlier, this is all going to stay frozen like this for a week until the temps get above freezing. It’s when we have these snow/ice events that I truly hate living here – because public safety doesn’t seem to be a priority.

  • mellaw6565 December 14, 2008 (11:33 am)

    We are so peeved at the piss-poor job done by the City on the roads here in West Seattle. Virtually nothing has been sanded or salted. I want a refund on my taxes!!

    Also, I have been back and forth on all the roads this morning (pet sitting/house sitting) and by far the best route around is Delridge (way better than 35th) and taking the lowland water route around Alki instead of Admiral or California. Very easy drive this morning.

  • Mary December 14, 2008 (11:37 am)

    I was just out on 35th driving south from Raymond to Holden. I ended up turning around and returning home. Just wanted to report that a kid in blue coat is standing at the corner of 35th & Willow throwing snowballs at cars. It’s bad enough out there but to have to avoid a kid being an idiot (and putting himself in danger of getting hit by a slipping car) is horrible.

  • Mike December 14, 2008 (11:39 am)

    I just saw a snow plow going westbound on Admiral, a few blocks east of California.

  • s December 14, 2008 (11:47 am)

    i am at california and hanford. there have been a few #55 busses going by this morning.

    i did, however, see the #51 that is supposed to turn left and go up hanford try several times to make the turn before giving up and heading on down south on california.

    not many cars making it up hanford…just a few suv’s.

  • nuni December 14, 2008 (11:47 am)

    35th going up the hill by Morgan is a nightmare. About 10 cars on the side of the road unable to make it up the hill (including ours). I guess they only cleared the road going DOWN the hill but not up it. PLEASE BE CAREFUL!! People are trying to get around those that are spinning out and are causing even more of a problem. Praying that our car doesn’t get run in to as it is currently parked a quarter of the way up the hill.

  • nuni December 14, 2008 (11:49 am)

    Oh yeah, and there’s a bus also stuck there and the DOT crews are having a hard time get the road cleared for it.

  • JanS December 14, 2008 (11:57 am)

    So…how many days did the local news stations talk about this? And the city was STILL unprepared. Hey, Mayor Nickels…enjoying your day off safe and warm in your nice Admiral home? Seems the city has dropped the ball on this one. Side streets can wait, but, geez, get the main arterials sanded, for goodness sake. And, Metro, chain up…what ARE you thinking?

    Staying home this afternoon is the plan for the day…everyone stay warm :)

  • mtp December 14, 2008 (11:58 am)

    Metro Bus #55 stuck in the ice going toward Admiral near 4138 Calif. Ave SW

  • pigeonmom December 14, 2008 (11:59 am)

    Anyone seen a northbound #21 bus on 35th??
    Friends waiting a LONG time on 35th & Webster, no bus.

  • pigeonmom December 14, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    No chains on buses?? We were all warned about this weather far in advance. No info on Metro web site either?? Metro SUX.

  • D December 14, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    Admiral near the bend at 47th is a mess! We live there and just walked home and it’s a joke. SUV’s speeding down the hill and sliding at the bend. Very dangerous so be cautious both pedestrians and vehicles!!! No sanders in sight yet.

  • matthew darling December 14, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    waited on 35th and webster for northbound 21 for over an hour.saw 2 southbound go by (no chains). no info on metro site. i need to get to work downtown…this is super frustrating! and cold!

  • Rachel December 14, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    Does anyone know about road conditions on Alki? How icy is it?

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (12:11 pm)

    Thanks to everybody for the ongoing updates. We have now started the afternoon post here:
    so please add additional information and questions there – TR

  • celeste17 December 14, 2008 (12:18 pm)

    I thought the Mayor lived in the Lincoln Park area of the city not Admiral.

  • WSB December 14, 2008 (12:18 pm)

    No, he lives in North Admiral.

  • Sue December 14, 2008 (12:19 pm)

    You’re so right Jan – they’ve been saying for days how prepared they’ve been for this. Are they really that inept? Or that cheap that they don’t want to pay OT on a Saturday night/Sunday? Do they have to wait until there’s some huge pile-up that kills people to decide to do something?
    I haven’t left the house yet today (and don’t intend to), so it’s unclear if Fauntleroy has ever been plowed or is just packed down from drivers (my bet is the latter). However, even though my bus for work is right across the street, I wonder if I’ll be able to safely get there tomorrow. I remember 2 winters ago when I lived in West Ridge Park and they didn’t do any of the roads in there – I was in the back at the top of a hill and was stuck in the house for 5 days because we couldn’t get down the hill safely, even on foot.

  • BG December 14, 2008 (12:40 pm)

    where are all the people now who originally were saying “yeah, let it snow”?

  • Marge Carpenter December 14, 2008 (12:59 pm)

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

    Marge Carpenter

  • Mary T December 14, 2008 (1:02 pm)

    So….we were going to go downtown to shop. We live on 38th at Edmunds. The only way down would be 35th to the bridge. So should we not do that? We’re from Ohio and hope springs eternal, but, you know, they have salt in Ohio…

  • JenV December 14, 2008 (1:02 pm)

    here I am, BG! :D I love the snow…driving in it not so much. Getting ready to take a walk up to the junction here in a bit, will try to send a photo later.

  • Clay December 14, 2008 (2:10 pm)

    Just saw a truck putting sand out on Morgan: It was heading eastbound toward 35th. Morgan between 35th and California has been an ice rink. We even saw a couple 4x4s that could not get up the hill!

  • Michael December 15, 2008 (2:52 pm)

    PPl are so funny – we walked up and down Avalon on Sunday morning and were amazed by the average person’s theory that yes, the streets were a “bit” icy but *they* know how to drive on them.
    A theory, of course, that was doomed to failure.

  • Dawn December 18, 2008 (9:29 am)

    Can you get on to the WS bridge from Delridge?

Sorry, comment time is over.