(THIS WAS THE MORNING POST – CLICK HERE FOR AFTERNOON COVERAGE. From earlier: School closures so far (as of 11:20 am): Seattle Public Schools, Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hope Lutheran, West Seattle Montessori, Holy Family in White Center, Seattle Lutheran High School, Westside School, West Seattle Christian Preschool, Shorewood Christian, elementaries in Highline Public Schools, South Seattle Community College, elementary on Vashon, all closed. School delays: Vashon middle and high schools, 2 hours late; Highline middle and high schools are 1 hour late)
Finally happened. We’re on live-update watch now. More shortly. No school changes yet; we’re watching schoolreport.org among other places.
5:29 AM UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools are CLOSED for the day. Meteorologist on the radio describes this as a “band of showers.” Driving is dangerous right now since this is fresh, buses too according to a comment that just came in. And we just had THUNDER AND LIGHTNING in Upper Fauntleroy. Holy Rosary School is closed. Our Lady of Guadalupe is closed. Vashon School District, 2 hours late. Highline Public Schools, 1 hour late. (Got a closure? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-293-6302)
5:47 AM UPDATE: Just heard a KING 5 producer on the phone on her station say she couldn’t get out of West Seattle via Delridge – undrivable at the moment – reportedly blocked by stuck buses. (We have the live bridge-cam up at the top of this post, also relisting school closures there too as they come in, as well as here in the continuing updates.) Another school delay: South Seattle Community College, 10 am start. Remember we have the bridge cam “live” pic (refresh for latest) atop this post; more West Seattle-relevant cams on our Traffic page. I-5 ramp on that page looks totally white.
5:56 AM UPDATE: Metro has updated its “adverse weather” page with bus routes that are on reroute. See the list here. It includes the 21, 22 (“not operating on 41st SW – ice” says the list), 23, 37, 53, 125, 128 (not entering the SSCC campus for those last two), and many others areawide.
6:03 AM UPDATE: Hope Lutheran School CLOSED for the day. Thanks to Chris for sending this photo of the buses in trouble on Delridge onramp to The Bridge:
West Seattle Montessori just called – CLOSED for the day, added to our running list at the TOP of this post (above the “live” bridge pic). Via Facebook (“friend” us at WS Blog), Talani at Stor-More Self-Storage (WSB sponsor) sends this photo of Avalon from Yancy (that’s the Tillicum Village HQ and gift shop in the background) and says it’s “solid white,” very treacherous:
Scanner says “it’s all turning to ice now … going to assume there will be accidents all over the place.” They can’t even get to accidents that are blocking or involve injuries, “we’re not going to car-in-the-ditch stuff” says dispatcher.
CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE REST OF OUR AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE:
6:14 AM UPDATE: Scanner to everyone: “If you don’t already have chains on, make your way to someplace that you can put them on immediately.” Thanks to Katie for sending word that Holy Family School in White Center is CLOSED too.
6:25 AM UPDATE: Add to the list of CLOSED schools (which is all in one place at the very TOP of this post) – Seattle Lutheran High School. The Metro reroute list keeps growing. Cami says she’s heard word of a crash on ramp to I-5 from West Seattle Bridge.
6:30 AM UPDATE: Lots of firsthand reports in the comments (thank you!) – also some coming in via e-mail, like this one:
No 51 shuttle or 57 bus in sight this morning. Waited on the street since 5:15 a.m. Walked over to Admiral Way for the 56. At 5:55 a.m. a car stopped and told me the bus was stalled at the bottom of Admiral. Waited an hour and gave up. On 50th SW we have well over an inch of snow already.
Here’s another view of 35th/Avalon, looking northeast, thanks to Charles:
Photos welcome, email@example.com, also via Facebook, alert us at WS Blog. Here’s the state traffic cam for West Seattle Bridge ramp to I-5 – backup would seem to verify that crash/blocking report.
6:40 AM UPDATE: In comments, WSTEE says, “Viaduct was total nightmare.” Talani sent video from Avalon/Yancy a short time ago; we reuploaded to Blip so you can watch here (she narrates, too).
6:49 AM UPDATE: In addition to school closures (full updated list AT TOP OF THIS POST), we are also interested in major business/government closures. Via Twitter, the local Coast Guard district says its offices at the Jackson Federal Building downtown will be closed. In comments, we have sanding truck/snowplow sightings at 45th/Admiral and 9th/Highland Park Way. Handy traffic link (this is always atop our Traffic page too) – area blocking incidents (doesn’t get down to city streets but major roads regionally are listed when problematic).
7 AM UPDATE: Just stepped outside for a pic. About 2″ here in Upper Fauntleroy. California/Thistle vicinity not plowed so far. From comments – Carole says King County Superior Court is on a 2-hour delay, here and in Kent. Morgan hill update (west of 35th) from Cindi Barker – 128 bus just went by westbound (downhill). From the WSB Forums, Gina says the guy who’s going to run to all 18 Seattle library branches (including the ones over here) is still planning to do it today. Read more here. Still monitoring radio, TV, scanner – “traffic nightmares out there” is heard a lot.
7:09 AM UPDATE: Susie says those two buses are still stuck on Delridge onramp to eastbound bridge. (See photo earlier in this post.) WSDOT reiterates that entire Seattle/Eastside highway network is a mess. Learned via a Twitter friend that Pacific Science Center downtown has closed for the day. Eastbound on West Seattle Bridge apparently NOW CLOSED because of bus vs. semi crash, per KIRO Radio. Not sure where that is, though – not visible YET in the live cameras. From Metro “adverse weather” page: Some buses in other areas of the city now running on “unpublished reroutes.” Not everything is closed – just got this from Josh Sutton at West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor):
>Both Fauntleroy & West Seattle YMCA branches are open (we have staff who can walk in), classes and programs are limited, but if you don’t get enough exercise shoveling snow, come on by!
“Walk” seems to be the key word there, at least until the plows make it around (keep posting/sending your sightings).
7:19 AM UPDATE: Shorewood Christian School opening at 10:30 am. Westside School is CLOSED. Adding to full list of closures/delays atop this post. Radio report reiterates crash closing eastbound West Seattle Bridge – JUST STAY AWAY. Also, this from comments, a WSB’er who got a call from spouse:
she’s stuck eastbound on the spokane st viaduct, she says cars are spun out everywhere, and the SPD is routing traffic westbound in the eastbound lanes and routing them off on the 4th ave s exit.
West Seattle Christian Preschool also CLOSED. Traffic cams show westbound bridge definitely open, at least in the camera picture area west of 99.
7:34 AM UPDATE: Clarification, eastbound bridge “will” be shut down though isn’t yet (per KIRO radio), and Seattle Police say JUST STAY AWAY FROM THE BRIDGE tfn. Even some of the arterials haven’t been plowed yet – just stepped out for this California/Thistle pic (earlier one didn’t come out), neither street’s been touched:
OK, now the radio says eastbound bridge will NOT be closed. Meteorologist interview – Better chance than usual of a white Christmas, though he’s “not ready” to say 50-50 chance, yet.
7:48 AM UPDATE: Bus report just texted (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Margie: “I am on the 7 am 55 from Admiral, we skipped 35th due to bus graveyard, we are at about Sears on the viaduct, the bus is packed but our awesome driver was a rock star at navigating The Bridge.” Again, bus riders, Metro is continually updating the reroute list and that includes some “unpublished” (aka improv) reroutes. The bridge status reports keep seesawing so we just say, LOOK AT THE CAMERAS (both eastbound and westbound are in this post and on the Traffic page) – or better yet, JUST DON’T DRIVE. Snow’s light but still steady, by the way, if you’re not near a window. This just in from Josh at Endolyne uphill from Fauntleroy ferry dock:
Three buses total sitting or stuck on the hillside at intersection. All chained, but stuck or choosing to stay put. Just drove California to Morgan, Fauntleroy Way to here. Lots of folks waiting for busses, especially at Morgan Thriftway. Two Vashon buses were chained, moving and headed north towards town. Original Bakery open (as were many coffee shops along the way). Donuts coming out now;)
Here’s Josh’s photo looking east (uphill) from the Endolyne businesses:
Meantime, SCHOOL STATUS CHANGE for Shorewood Christian School – they are now CLOSED. Radio traffic guy insists West Seattle Bridge closed now both ways “at Columbian Way” (which is the far east end).
8:04 AM UPDATE: Linda Thielke from Metro is on the radio saying all buses are chained but “our service is significantly disrupted” and mentions West Seattle as particular trouble spot. From Chris, who sent us the photo earlier of the bus trouble that closed the Delridge onramp to The Bridge very early:
The Delridge ramp has been cleared, but is still closed due to compact snow and ice. Everyone on Deleidge is pouring onto the low Bridge which is seeing pretty heavy (but moving) traffic. Chains definitely recommended for Delridge corridor. Appears that Metro 120/125 is rerouting onto low bridge.
Shortly afterward, another bus got stuck on Delridge ramp, and Chris sent this photo:
8:23 AM UPDATE: Two more pix – one from Ashton of Morgan Junction-based ExpeditionTrips.com, “looking south (down Fauntleroy Way) toward the Fauntleroy ferry terminal” – he says few cars are out:
And not far from WSB HQ in Upper Fauntleroy, Dave sends this pic with the caption “happens to the best of us”:
Multiple WSB’er reports say Myers Way is closed (the hill down to 509 east of White Center). Gotta say this again, though – broadcast reports keep saying the West Seattle Bridge is “closed.” Apparently it IS CLOSED AT THE I-5 END. But cameras show (a few) cars on THIS end of it (see the Traffic page, or higher up in this post). All reports say AVOID IT, but if you absolutely MUST get out of West Seattle, it appears you can at least get to The Viaduct from The Bridge (though don’t try the Delridge onramp, that’s had trouble).
8:37 AM UPDATE: From SDOT:
The full force of SDOT trucks have been out treating the in-bound major arterials
since 3:30 this morning. Earlier the snow fell heaviest south of the city and into downtown, but is now increasing in the north end. An accident has been blocking the eastbound on-ramp to the high-level West Seattle Bridge; however the westbound lanes are open. Crews will remain working throughout the day.
Tom F sends this photo of people waiting for the bus at 35th/Thistle:
Seattle Design Commission meeting at City Hall today is canceled. Downtown-bound, Mark sent this from the 55: “We’re on Avalon headed down the hill at about two mph. Bus driver is laughing.”
8:46 AM UPDATE: Highline Public Schools has changed its status – closing all elementary schools, but keeping middle/high schools open “1 hour late.” Updating our comprehensive school list at the very TOP of this post (if you have private-school info that’s not there, let us know – email@example.com – thanks). VB sends word that “US District Court & US Bankruptcy Court, including Pretrail & Probation, closed for the day. Via Twitter, Gatewood resident Pam from Nerd’s Eye View says “Advice from an Austrian, go outside and flip up your windshield wiper blades so they don’t freeze to the windshield.” Got word from Stephen that there’s no Microsoft Connector shuttle service today.
9 AM UPDATE: WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli reports from The Junction area:
California is snow over slush. Very slippery. Volume of traffic is way down but too many people in SUVs are driving too fast for conditions. Oregon is packed snow but is empty as no one seems to be risking it.
If you have Thursday/Friday trash pickup – here’s a city advisory. Meantime, another update from Mark on the 55: “We’re across the low bridge and on First now. Just passed Lander. Just about there!” From WSDOT via Twitter, ferries are running on time. Just in from Saney – snowplow sighting at California/Hanford:
9:18 AM UPDATE: These are snow “showers”? Pretty serious at WSB HQ at the moment. Anyway, just got a report from Sharonn Meeks in Fairmount – first, this photo, which normally would be looking northeast toward downtown (just south of The Triangle) – note the insects don’t seem to be snowphobes:
Since sending that photo, Sharonn headed downhill, where she reports that if you need car help, the Midas and Goodyear places are open. From further west, Jackie Bollen reports: “No entry onto SW Lander from Admiral!” (map) and sent photographic proof:
Voice of frustration on the scanner – “vehicles that don’t know the meaning of the word ‘stop’.”
9:27 AM UPDATE: From Seattle Parks and Recreation:
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, 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
“D” just called from Highland Park – 15th/Henderson (map) blocked – must be the same jackknifed Metro bus that has just been mentioned on the scanner. She adds, “Entirely too many cars out here.”
9:41 AM UPDATE: In case you are wondering, we will be checking on the status of a couple of major events scheduled for tonight – Design Review meeting on The Kenney and 4502 42nd SW, and Cooper School meeting. Will post here as soon as we get word on either. If you are just joining our weather coverage today, by the way, welcome, and note that our format is, we keep one long post going till about noon; then we will start a new one. So you can bookmark this or keep refreshing it, etc., till then, as we will continue to update frequently with info and photos (and lots of info and eyewitness reports coming in via comments too – THANKS!!! to everyone). Meanwhile — Ron Angeles sends word of a change in the city’s Neighborhood Services Centers today: His NSC, on Delridge, is CLOSED. The Southwest NSC in The Junction will open late, 12:30 pm. And a TV news sighting from Diane – KOMO News just seen passing 37th/Hinds. (Diane also says the 51 didn’t go by her house today but wasn’t listed on Metro reroute page, either. Remember the mybus.org link we mentioned earlier, if you’re checking on a bus.)
9:52 AM UPDATE: Snow just got heavy up here again. Snow-shoveling review from co-publisher Patrick, who is a Colorado native: “Light, fluffy stuff, so it’s not sticking to the pavement beneath.” Photo just in from Chris, overview from 6000 block of 21st SW:
Ann C has a few more details on the Metro bus situation at 15th/Henderson that “D” reported – articulated bus slid into a parked car. Sander/plow seen in the area but “didn’t do much good.” Just got pix from Austin, looking downtown-ward from the Fauntleroy walkover on The Bridge approach:
From that picture and the traffic cameras, it’s clear The Bridge has been plowed/sanded. Heard on the scanner: Don’t expect police to come out to a crash. Hit and run, property damage, whatever – file a report by phone or online, they are answering injury-involved crashes as first priority. Meantime, a bridge etc. update from SDOT; read it here. Business report from comments: Alki Urban Market is closed. Adding some Junction photos just in from WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli – first, Walk All Ways looked more like Gawk All Ways:
About a mile east of there, multiple reports (including KIRO TV) of a Metro bus causing trouble on 35th SW near the viewpoint/Providence Mount St. Vincent. Vickie, meantime, just saw someone southbound on California at Charlestown (map) – on cross-country skis, on the sidewalk!
10:27 AM UPDATE: Latest from Talani at Stor-More on Yancy east of Avalon, via Facebook (we’re WS Blog):
tor-More is open handing out free hot chocolate, coffee and mochas…but we have snow piled up everywhere…we’ve been at shoveling for like over 4 hours…and everywhere we blow or shovel just turns white again…it’s crazy…on Yancy, very few cars are trying it, but we see a lot more hikers and walkers and runners…more headed to the bus stop…I’d totally say we’re snowed in over here…the big question remaining…will our mailman come??? UPS??? Fedex??? We usually see them all every day, so far, none of them have come…”
Scanner: Uphill east of Morgan Junction, they’re going to stop traffic on Morgan hill, westbound at 39th.
10:44 AM UPDATE: New photo, 4″ of snow at 50th/Hanford (map):
And from Sharonn Meeks in Fairmount, 37th SW is now CLOSED from The Mount to Alaska (map):
Just heard on the scanner, a backlog of buses waiting to get chained up (exactly where, we don’t know). And just in from Brian Judd at High Point Community Center:
High Point is open! Basketball practices and other programs are canceled, but we have a warm facility for people and open gymnasium for kids to drop-in.
10:51 AM UPDATE: Official word from the city – tonight’s Design Review Board meeting for The Kenney and 4502 42nd SW ***is CANCELED*** … please share that word with anyone who might have been interested. We will make a separate post too. We’ll let you know when it’s rescheduled. Now, as for the forecast – the latest discussion is up, with a look into the weekend and even part of next week; read it here.
11:05 AM UPDATE: Some more pix – first, Carole in North Delridge with a hummingbird (here’s the link to a WSB Forum discussion earlier regarding frozen feeders and helping hummingbirds):
Also from North Delridge, Skylark Club and Cafe (WSB sponsor) is CLOSED FOR LUNCH, according to this message from owner Jessie via Facebook:
Our kitchen manager (and scheduled cook today) is trapped in Shoreline, and our server is even more literally trapped with two jackknifed buses on his street on Capitol Hill. Replacements were understandably reticent. We are going to reassess at happy hour…since I imagine people might want some comfort food and wifi today? I know I do…slim pickins here at home
We’ll let you know as we hear more. Another photo from Christopher – “unofficial snow depth at The Junction, 5.5 inches at 10:45 am”:
Update on South Seattle Community College – closed. As our pal Justin at capitolhillseattle.com said to us via Twitter, “The news now is, what’s NOT closed (canceled).” True, but some people are diehards and won’t believe it till they hear it. We’re also checking again on the Cooper Elementary closure meeting for tonight, just to make sure that’s canceled too – stand by.
11:24 AM UPDATE: Allstar Fitness closed. Laura at 39th/Barton has seen two tow trucks hauling buses — a 54, and a 22. She adds, “Saw a woman trudging up the hill, she reports that her bus couldn’t make it up the hill, even with chains. Trucks and cars are making it up and down Barton OK but not much traffic. We have about 4 inches here.” And she says a UPS truck handled the hill just fine.
11:38 AM UPDATE: Our mail carrier just arrived, here in Upper Fauntleroy. Snow REALLY fast and furious. Carrier says plow has been handling Thistle east of here toward 35th etc. Adding some photos from our neighborhood in a moment, catching up with other pics everyone has sent. The snow is blowing sideways and big piles of snow are blowing off tree branches, so that’s extra dangerous if you’re even thinking of going out till it slows down. Here’s California looking north from Thistle:
Here’s Thistle looking east from California:
Plows have gone over both, incidentally. Here’s the top of the long, steep Thistle staircase down toward Lincoln Park:
Just got word from SDOT’s communications/Web folks that they’re going to give Twitter a try for the storm. You can find them at twitter.com/sdotsnow. Also just in, an update from Metro — “afternoon bus service will be limited,” core routes will be the focus – read more here. Also just got word of one more MAJOR CANCELLATION — the Cooper Elementary school-closure meeting scheduled for tonight IS CANCELED; rescheduling, TBD, will let you know. Also posting separately. Lowell hearing is postponed too (some West Seattle APP families would have been going to that).
11:55 AM UPDATE: First word in the comments, reposting here: Highline Public Schools, which has changed its status multiple times today, is now sending secondary students home early (elementaries were canceled before they started):
Updated 11:30 a.m. Due to worsening weather conditions, we will dismiss secondary students early today.
* Buses will pick up students at Puget Sound Skills Center at 11:45 a.m. and return them to their high schools.
* High schools will be dismissed at noon.
* Middle schools will be dismissed at 12:30.
* Emergency bus stops will be used on all bus routes.
* All after-school and evening activities, sports, and events and evening building use have been canceled.
* Also, we hope to make decisions about tomorrow this evening.
Given that tomorrow was an early-dismissal day for most, last day before winter break, that would seem to make sense.
12:03 PM UPDATE: Changing to afternoon post shortly – will give notice here when that happens. But first – Puerto Vallarta in The Junction is open for lunch, we were just informed. Also open, coffee places including C and P Coffee (thanks to Mike for that word), Cafe Rozella in White Center (per proprietor Ricardo on White Center Now), and WSB inaugural sponsor Hotwire Coffee, where proprietor Lora Lewis took this pic:
Also got word from the Admiral District that Circa is open for lunch – not sure about dinner yet, depends on staff status.
12:17 PM UPDATE: We have now launched the afternoon post. Info, photos, etc., will all be there, and your “comments” — really, updates and reports — should move there too. THANKS AGAIN for collaborating on keeping West Seattle up to the minute. Here’s the new post.