Seattle snowstorm aftermath: Next round of city reports

After a series of briefings and hearings focusing on how the city dealt with the challenges of Snowstorm ’08, this morning we will hear about the “after-action reports” that key departments were ordered to prepare. Three Seattle City Council committees are meeting jointly at 9 am to get the lowdown from three department heads: Barb Graff, Director of the Office of Emergency Management; Grace Crunican, Director of the Department of Transportation; and Ray Hoffman, Acting Director of Seattle Public Utilities (previous director Chuck Clarke has moved on to his new job with Cascade Water Alliance). Here’s the agenda; you can watch live online at or on cable Channel 21. 10:01 AM UPDATE: This discussion is just starting now, after the meeting’s first hour was spent on the Mercer Corridor project.

9 Replies to "Seattle snowstorm aftermath: Next round of city reports"

  • Dave February 20, 2009 (8:08 am)

    Study Finds Road Salt Could Affect Aquatic Life
    ST. PAUL, Minn.—A University of Minnesota study released Feb. 10 indicates that the state’s efforts to keep its roads ice-free could eventually affect its aquatic life and drinking water. The study, led by civil engineering professor Heinz Stefan, found that about 70 percent of the road salt being applied in the Twin Cities metropolitan area is being retained in the area’s watershed. Given that nearly 350,000 tons of sodium chloride are applied to the area’s roads each year, he said the effects could be severe. Stefan told BNA that continuous levels of chloride concentration of as little as 250 milligrams per liter have been shown to be harmful to aquatic life. He said the study of 39 lakes, three major rivers, and 10 tributaries found a number of instances where that concentration was exceeded, especially in small streams. While the main focus of the study was the effect of salt on water quality, not organisms, he said previous studies have indicated increased chloride concentrations can decrease biodiversity, alter development, and increase the mortality rates of organisms that rely on the aquatic system. More information on Stefan’s salt research can be found at

  • Brandon February 20, 2009 (9:05 am)

    That report is based on 350,000 tons!!! I doubt Seattle would even come within a grain of that type of usage. The city says it had 280 tons at the ready last year, and if it is the first or second line of defense in the future, I would be interested to know how much it could be. It won’t be 350k, so that report *could* be just as off base as on base for Seattle comparisons. There needs to be a balance. How do you service the needs of emergency vehicles, and people with medical needs relying on mail/deliveries to get critical medical supplies? This might be the drop in the preverbial bucket.
    The State only used 6k and 12k mixed for the storm:

    The sky is not falling.

  • mike February 20, 2009 (9:25 am)

    And the quantities and regularity we’d be using salt would be the same as Minnesota’s how?

  • ken February 20, 2009 (9:37 am)

    Look at the picture and you can see why Seattle had major problems during the snow. The plow is not plowing any snow. This is what I saw everytime a plow went by. The trucks were not removing the snow from the streets.

  • Ron Burgundy February 20, 2009 (9:49 am)

    Isn’t Puget Sound already salt water?

  • Mr. JT February 20, 2009 (10:10 am)

    Is Grace going to show up for this or call it in from Portland ?
    You know she has kids to take care of and doesn’t have time for this work stuff, other than to cash her HUGE paycheck for doing essentially NOTHING.

  • WSB February 20, 2009 (10:10 am)

    She’s speaking right now.

  • Mr. JT February 20, 2009 (10:43 am)

    Glad she could make it !

  • mike February 20, 2009 (12:21 pm)

    lol to the plow comment. I find it funny that an AWD subaru is using chains lol.

Sorry, comment time is over.