West Seattle snow: 1st Tuesday report – early morning

(Looking for the Monday mega-report with 500+ comments? Find it here. School closures/changes are here.)

(From Ted – video from the scene of the downed tree at California/Walker)
12:01 AM: Now that the evening commute has finally ended – just in time for a brand-new day – we’re starting a new round of running coverage. We’ll talk about what’s happening overnight – such as, I-5 is still reported to be a “parking lot” – but also look ahead to the morning. For starters – here’s our list of school closures. Plus – Metro says it’ll be nowhere near full service this morning; what service they do offer will again be on snow routes. Perhaps foreshadowing the service reduction, Kris just tweeted this photo from the low-bridge vicinity:

Via Twitter, Justin says the 21 is running along 1st Avenue South. Meantime, the weather folks all say it’ll be incredibly icy.

12:43 AM UPDATE: According to Seattle City Light‘s outage tracker, more than 460 West Seattle homes/businesses, all on the north end of the peninsula, are without power right now. None of the outages lists an estimated restoration time. Meantime, more traffic information: Abandoned vehicles seem to be a big problem on most major routes – we’re hearing of them on the westbound high bridge, the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and this just tweeted by WSDOT: “On the I-5 northbound off-ramp to the West Seattle Bridge, there are disabled vehicles blocking the ramp.”

1:01 AM UPDATE: Update just in from the King County Water Taxi – Service on both West Seattle and Vashon routes may be “reduced” today – they promise updates later on their website. Also from the county, a message from County Executive Dow Constantine – a West Seattleite – telling county workers, stay home if you’re not absolutely, desperately needed.

1:57 AM UPDATE: Via Twitter – word of a very long taxi line at Sea-Tac. Meantime, we’ve taken a closer look at the forecast, and noticed we’re now under a Winter Weather Advisory until 4 pm; it’s supposed to get sunny today, while staying very cold – a high in the 20s, then a low possibly into single digits. The wind right now, however, is definitely double digits – howling out there.

2:36 AM UPDATE: OK, it wasn’t 100 percent doom and gloom. ZJ shared this photo from Genesee Hill:

And then there was the following photo from Krista:

Her caption: “I sense something. A presence I’ve not felt since….. 2008.”

6:31 AM UPDATE: We’ve just started a new “morning commute” story – see you there!

56 Replies to "West Seattle snow: 1st Tuesday report - early morning"

  • luckydog November 23, 2010 (12:01 am)

    Thanks for the great coverage!

    Any news on the power outages in WS? My lights are still flickering here in Alki…

    • WSB November 23, 2010 (12:04 am)

      They are all marked “restoration: pending” last time I checked. Will be adding that to this too.

  • howie in seattle November 23, 2010 (12:04 am)

    Whatever would we do without you?

  • Kristina November 23, 2010 (12:06 am)

    Thank you for your reporting. I was supposed to have minor surgery tomorrow, and your reports here have convinced me that I am better off avoiding the trip to the PolyClinic and staying home. Coming home drugged up and getting stuck like so many people today sounds like a nightmare! Thanks to your thorough coverage, I know to avoid it.

  • mworth November 23, 2010 (12:07 am)

    I hereby nominate WSB for EVERY neighborhood blogging/reporting award…in the world.

  • Wondering November 23, 2010 (12:07 am)

    Should we bother putting out garbage/recycling for Tues pick-up? Havent heard on the news.

    • WSB November 23, 2010 (12:09 am)

      Wondering – SPU hasn’t announced that yet. Given the wind, I wouldn’t, and in fact we have Tuesday pickup and haven’t. (Though our neighbor, who is like clockwork, has put his out …)

  • Shane November 23, 2010 (12:10 am)

    INFECTION UPDATE: Another special thanks the WSB, officially the only news source reporting on the infection in West Seattle. I will continue to update as information comes in. Please remain vigilant and continue to post your sightings of infected, or of any survivors that may require assistance.

  • WorldCitizen November 23, 2010 (12:10 am)

    Yeah, garbage info would be very much appreciated if you’ve got it. Sleep well everyone.

  • shane November 23, 2010 (12:10 am)

    The commute is over? I actually have a friend on I5 who left work at 4, she is still trying to get home.

  • Lee November 23, 2010 (12:14 am)

    Right, Monday afternoon’s commute continues. My sis just arrived home at 12:05A. She left downtown at 4:20P. She said I-5 is a parking lot in both directions.

  • Shane November 23, 2010 (12:15 am)

    INFECTION UPDATE: Place garbage out at your own risk. Avoid placing garbage that may contain rotting meat, as this could attract the infected. Efforts by City Hall to contain the infected and prevent their spread have failed thus far, and no changes are likely to happen during the night. My anonymous source states, “City Hall had a conference call regarding the spread of the infected. It has since degraded into an argument as to whether or not it is a appropriate to place red pepper flakes into a green bean casserole to give it a more festive appearance.”

  • stango November 23, 2010 (12:18 am)

    Seattle Public Library staff have been told that libraries are opening at 1:00 on Tuesday

  • sun*e November 23, 2010 (12:18 am)

    Thanks WSB for keeping us up to date during this “storm”. It was comforting for me to have a “go to” place to determine the best route for my husband to take so he’d get home safely.
    I still don’t understand why people are still stuck on I-5! I know two women who are in that mess and I’m so worried about them. What the what is going on?!!!

  • Shane November 23, 2010 (12:22 am)

    @sun*e: No reports of infected activity on I-5 as of yet. They seem to be staying within the populated areas. Tell your friends that if they are approached by packs of moaning, seemingly-lifeless humans they should run for their lives.

  • goodgraces November 23, 2010 (12:23 am)

    “City Hall had a conference call regarding the spread of the infected. It has since degraded into an argument as to whether or not it is a appropriate to place red pepper flakes into a green bean casserole to give it a more festive appearance.”

    @Shane: Such an artful way to describe this city’s entrenched disfunction. I’d cry if I weren’t laughing so hard.

  • Glenda November 23, 2010 (12:26 am)

    Did anyone else notice the irony of the bus ad? It is one of those Northwest Profiles “First Snowflake Freakout Lady”. Hee hee!

  • skategrrl November 23, 2010 (12:32 am)

    me too, Glenda. That was pristine! :)

  • Megan B November 23, 2010 (12:33 am)

    It’s been 3 hours now since we left Upper QA. I-5 has been the worst of it, but seems to be moving more as we approach the Spokane st viaduct/ ws bridge exit. Almost there….

  • Marty November 23, 2010 (12:33 am)

    Unfortunate to post and sad to say, the “infected” have made it through our barricade at Prost.

    We have taken our last refuge in the cooler with our favorite drinks.

    I’m afraid this will be my last post. My heart goes out to the brave souls who risked their lives saving their fellow friends in these dark times.

    I wish you the best through the night and these trying times. Godspeed West Seattle.

  • Rm November 23, 2010 (12:45 am)

    Just arrived home five and a half hours downtown to west seattle. Two yahoos in two speeding trucks passed the cars going up the hill using the far left (hill side) lane meant for downhill traffic. There is going to be a serious head-on accident.
    Thee were two buses on the hill., an articulated jack knifed and a standard parked faced up on the downhill side.
    Be even more cautious than usual.

  • Shane November 23, 2010 (1:06 am)

    FINAL INFECTION UPDATE: I have volunteered to be a test subject for Dr. Zimmerman’s infection prophylaxis. I have injected myself with the serum, and will foray into the savage streets of The Junction so as to find, and be bitten by, an infected. I wish you all luck as this may be the last post I ever make. Regardless of the results, stay vigilant, look out for one another, and may morning bring a new dawn, both literally and figuratively, to Seattle.
    De Oppresso Liber.

  • bolo November 23, 2010 (1:30 am)

    I-5 was such a problem mainly because of several blocking incidents involving large buses or trucks. The articulated buses are not really snow or ice worthy, and the tractor-trailer rigs had bald tires. They spun and ended up blocking several lanes of traffic.

    So traffic came to a standstill (several miles) behind each one of these blockages. Traffic moved maybe 60 feet every 15 or 20 minutes (if that), finally passing the blockage, then clear but cautious sailing until another similar blockage a few miles further on. I-5 was like this from Southcenter to Lake City Way.

    We were northbound on I-5 from 5:30 PM to 11:30 PM, until we reached and were able to thread our way thru the ramp to the WS upper bridge (more stalled trucks blocking), from there it was just a few minutes until home, even at reduced speeds due to the chunky snow and high winds.

    My daughter kept asking why there were so many trucks on I-5. I looked around and it was true, we were often surrounded by semis, in front, behind, and from shoulder to shoulder. Amazing.

    Looks like we now have a One-Term Mayor.

  • kristina noir November 23, 2010 (1:30 am)

    3.5 hours home from downtown, glued to West Seattle Blog the entire time. Thank you for the updates and coverage. By the time we actualy got off the bridge we went around Alki to avoid Admiral hill and turned at Tully’s back to admiral and up tp MM to get more firewood and a much needed bottle of wine. I half expected a slow clapper to greet us, and a band!

  • Giyen November 23, 2010 (1:33 am)

    Just got home to Vashon Island 30 minutes ago. I left my office near Pioneer Square at 4pm. After getting bumped from the 4:30 passenger only ferry, only to find the 5:30 ferry canceled – it took me from 5:30ish to 11:00pm to get from 2nd and Columbia to Fauntleroy terminal. Then another 2 hours to get a car ferry and then snag a ride home from someone with 4 wheel drive.

    That said, I was keeping the other passengers on the Route 54 updated with the latest news thanks to your posts and tweets. A big, big thank you Tracy!

    • WSB November 23, 2010 (1:37 am)

      Glad to hear of more folks getting home safe – the 9-hour commute might be the record tonight, Giyen!
      Re: the band greeting, Kristina, if I wasn’t kind of glued to the laptop, I really would have liked to have gone out and found these buses full of 6-hour commute survivors and interviewed them. What a tale to tell. I really don’t remember anything quite this dramatic from 2008 Snowpocalypse … TR

  • Paul November 23, 2010 (1:54 am)

    Don’t give up !!! You must save that tree Ted !!! Mouth to Mouth Baby

  • bns November 23, 2010 (2:19 am)

    My husband is STILL stuck on I-5. He left his office in Fremont at 3:45 and after all the 99/high bridge/low bridge closures decided to try I-5. BIG mistake as he has been in the car for 10.5 hours and counting. Unbelievable.

  • i can sleep now! November 23, 2010 (2:20 am)

    My partner just arrived home after leaving SLU at 430ish. i was able to find an independent tow truck co. that would do a passenger ‘tow.’ the driver asked for $20- downtown to SP

  • cathyw November 23, 2010 (3:10 am)

    Wind is howling – still. So glad we still have power/heat in Alki. Wish everyone else was home safe and warm already. :(

    The nearly full moon is beautiful with the snow.

  • Kayleigh November 23, 2010 (4:56 am)

    The next time a transplant asks me (a lifelong native) “how come you Seattleites freak out in the snow?” or “how come you Seattleites don’t know how to drive in the snow?”, I would like to refer said transplant to last night’s nightmare commute.
    THAT is why some of us freak out about the snow. And no amount of grateful-izing would have made me feel better about walking from SLU with a wind chill of 10 degrees, or sitting on a bus for 6 hours, hungry and exhausted and having to pee.
    Thank god for telecommuting, an option I did not have in 2008. (yes, I’m grateful for that.) :)

  • Jeremy of Highland park November 23, 2010 (5:09 am)

    made the drive from w.seattle to cap hil. bridge and I5 fairly clear-ish. drivable w/o chains. neighborhood streets are snow covered, but not bad to drive if you take it slow. arterials are being plowed and easy peasy

  • Been There November 23, 2010 (5:17 am)

    As of this writing Harbor Island low bridge has been de-iced. Delridge Way, northbound from Hudson solid ice/compact snow. Northbound 99/Via-Duct near Massachusetts is littered with abandoned vehicles. Pretty nasty out.

  • bb November 23, 2010 (5:19 am)

    I’m about to try to goto vashon to work, from the alaska junction. I will post any problems if i cant make it. Good luck to everyone i have a feeling I will be home in in an hour iced in.

  • bb November 23, 2010 (5:41 am)

    just called over to vashon, no power on Island or at work. Luckily someone actually answered phone…They said roads are really really bad so No reason to wreck car.

    good luck everyone.

  • Chuck November 23, 2010 (5:51 am)

    My wife had to make her way to Harborview this morning… took Fauntleroy to the high bridge. Fauntlerory was a sheet of ice, but she made it going slow. She said the bridge was de-iced well and was passible, but slushy. If you have to make it to Pill Hill, take Madison to Boren!

  • PeterT November 23, 2010 (6:07 am)

    Day 2: Just heard the #37 bus go by on the 5900 block of Beach Drive at 0550. He’s running about 20 minutes late, but he’s running.

  • Mary T November 23, 2010 (6:13 am)

    TW, you’ve earned another medal! Stay safe.

  • Magpie November 23, 2010 (6:15 am)

    My neighbor’s husband came to our house about 9 pm looking for his wife (we usually ride the bus together)..I only made it home because I decided to walk from a little beyond Sears..I made it a little after 8:30. Am going to go out and start all over soon, but better boots and scarf and really good gloves today. That wind in my face was awful, especially going over the low bridge.

    Our weather station has it at 19 on our covered porch…having nightmares of 2 winters ago..actually think yesterday’s commute was worse than any under Greg Nickels. I think they only deiced and sanded the bike lanes…

  • Paige M November 23, 2010 (6:20 am)

    Anyone know how Delridge is this morning?

  • coffee November 23, 2010 (6:30 am)

    Also wondering how Roxbury is headed east from 26th Ave SW to White Center. I know its a small hill, but last night it was a small hill of pure ice with a stuck metro bus.

  • WSChris November 23, 2010 (6:37 am)

    Has anyone heard how Admiral is going down to the bridge?

  • SLM November 23, 2010 (6:49 am)

    Shout out to Ruby! An angel driving around W. Seattle last night giving rides to people who were walking home. Thank you, thank you Ruby!

  • synergy3k November 23, 2010 (6:54 am)

    Anyone had any luck with Metro this am? I’m stuck in redmond and would love to get home to check on my cats before I have to get back for my afternoon shift.

  • AC November 23, 2010 (6:57 am)

    Did anyone ride the 37 in this morning? Trying to avoid having my husband drive me to First Hill. Were there any delays with the 37?

  • sam November 23, 2010 (7:09 am)

    Glenda- loved the ad too- I thought that was why the photo was selected / posted !
    does Pemco have a NW profile for ‘holier-than-thou N.E. transplant – you guys can’t drive in the snow’ guy?


  • Lisa November 23, 2010 (7:19 am)

    I lived in WSea most of my life – moved to NJ last year. And now I know their dirty little secret. These people cannot drive in the RAIN! And I’m talking regular, boring ol’ rain; drivers going down the interstate at 40mph with their hazard lights on! This is not an exaggeration. So don’t let them give you any crap about snow driving.

    The reason they can drive in the snow (on their level, non-hilly streets) is because there are road crews out here cleaning and salting the streets pretty much continuously, starting as soon as the snow starts falling. The roads are clear of snow and ice. Hazards are minimal if at all. These so-called east coast snow driving skills are a big myth.

  • Sue November 23, 2010 (7:22 am)

    Kayleigh, I agree – I do not find the snow pretty or fun because I remember two years ago when it took me 4 hours to get home from work and all the $ I lost not going to a job that didn’t close. Now I can remember last night’s 7 hours from downtown. And to think that I complained that my 15 min. ride yesterday morning took an hour. I’d be grateful for 2 hours next time.

  • ann November 23, 2010 (7:31 am)

    agreed! thanks WSB for the great service you offer!

  • Marybeth November 23, 2010 (8:08 am)

    I’m a student at WWU and was checking the blog out- surprised to see this video, it’s right by my parent’s home. Didn’t seem like much snowfall last night in Seattle. Bellingham has had snow/ice on the ground since Friday, and not a single school has been closed. We had a windstorm of 58mph last night with a windchill of 0°, it’s currently 13° outside. I’ve read many accounts of the commuting issues yesterday, sounded terrible. I’m glad my mom chose to stay home yesterday and avoid it. I read that Bellingham road crews are being asked to help out the city of Seattle today–hope everyone is okay after last night’s storm.

  • Cclarue November 23, 2010 (8:42 am)

    My best friend moved to Illinois and when she talks about snow here and stopping to put chains on the people there don’t know what she’s talking about!!! They don’t close school there either, but their cars all have rusty undercarriages!!;)

    • WSB November 23, 2010 (8:45 am)

      Got another road update via e-mail: “I work in SODO overnight and live on 35th SW and SW Henderson. I just got home about ten minutes ago. The west seattle bridge is bare and wet in both directions. 35th SW is bare and wet till about Providence Hospital From there to Henderson is slush and snow but seems reasonable and not too treacherous. There seem to be a few people out on the roads but not many. Also the area around the stadiums was pretty clear of snow and transit seems to be moving around well.”

  • MrTeach November 23, 2010 (9:16 am)

    Geeze, guys, thanks for making me feel better about my 6 hour commute from Cap Hill to West Seattle last night. The Metro Driver was great, a classy lady stuck in a tough situation. I had a lot of time to think yesterday on my bus to nowhere…I really do think that we should tear the viaduct down and do everything with surface streets and bicycles…it proved wildly successful last night. My sister in Houston was able to evacuate the city from the hurricane debacle a couple of years ago in LESS time than it took for us West Seattleites to get home yesterday. We are Seattle’s oldest and largest neighborhood…it is time we DEMAND our due!

  • Jonathon November 23, 2010 (9:26 am)

    Sad how the news stations have to treat drivers like they’re in driver’s ed. If you don’t know that “just because it doesn’t look like their is snow there doesn’t mean there isn’t ice”? Then you need to stop driving altogether.

    I am glad to read in some of these posts that there is at aleast ONE sighting of a plow truck on 35th. They finally remembered us out here, huh? MIRACLE.

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