West Seattle snow: Road, bus, school updates; photos …

**NOTE: We’ve now started afternoon coverage – go here – thanks!**

(TOPLINES: *Winter Storm Warning now in effect till 10 pm* … Metro on snow routes. Seattle Public Schools is now ending ALL activities @ 12:35 pm (update from early am), Vashon School District 2 hours late, Explorer West out 12:35, Our Lady of Guadalupe out 12:30, Seattle Lutheran HS out 12:15, Hope Lutheran, WS Montessori and Holy Rosary out 12 noon, Shorewood Christian canceled. Continuing coverage below.)

(Refresh for latest pic from WS Bridge camera, looking eastbound, and Junction cam, more on the WSB Traffic cams page)
FIRST REPORT, 5:01 AM: Starting our morning weather/traffic watch: It’s snowing here in Upper Fauntleroy, and sticking. Remember that Metro already was planning to be on snow routing to start the day, in ALL areas. Please share info on what it looks like where you are. Here’s an iPhone pic of snow on car/road right outside:

It’s a thin layer, though, as of that 5:05 am photo.

BUS INFORMATION: Here’s the snow routing info from Metro (which reminds you to PLEASE sign up for alerts for your route/s and is advertising that fact here and on other media sources).

SCHOOL INFORMATION, ONGOING UPDATES: Seattle Public Schools says it will dismiss middle and high schools EARLY today, 12:35 pm, because of “the snow expected this afternoon.” (Update at 9:54 am – They’re now ending ALL activities at 12:35 pm.) Vashon Island School District is 2 hours late. (We’re checking on local independent schools, but direct reports are welcome – editor@westseattleblog.com – so far, Explorer West getting out at 12:35 pm, Seattle Lutheran HS out at 12:15 pm, West Seattle Montessori, Hope Lutheran, Holy Rosary out at noon, OLG out at 12:30, Holy Family dismissing after lunch, Shorewood Christian CANCELED.)

6 AM UPDATE: That’s California/Thistle near WSB HQ, photographed a few moments ago. Checked the depth on our car – about 1/4″. No road problems reported so far in our area but drive VERY carefully. Light-to-moderate snow still falling here, has been steady for at least an hour and a half.

6:20 AM UPDATE: Adding to the school information higher up in this story – Vashon is 2 hours late. Note that the forecast calls for more snow later; the Winter Weather Advisory is in effect till evening. From SDOT via Twitter:

Snow routes pre-treated overnight. Two pre-treatment trucks working on SR99 and West Seattle high rise now. Snow routes in solid condition.

6:50 AM UPDATE: From the mayor’s office:

With a winter weather advisory calling for snow throughout the day, Mayor Mike McGinn activated Seattle’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) this morning. The EOC will remain open as needed to monitor weather conditions and provide support and coordination with city departments.

The winter weather advisory is calling for unusually strong winds, with sustained winds at 25 mph, and gusts up to 40 mph. Temperatures are expected to remain at or below freezing all day. Snow flurries will continue this morning with snow at times this afternoon and early evening.

7:02 AM UPDATE: Starting to get light, will wait till then for next photo. Snow much lighter than it was two hours ago. Still no notable trouble reported on any area roads.

7:27 AM UPDATE: And – the snow’s picking up again. We’re checking out a fire response around 41st/Hinds, “4 Red” so not a full house fire.

7:38 AM UPDATE: Explorer West Middle School will close at 12:35 pm, per Tanya via FB. Meantime, from Fauntlee Hills, Cheryl sends this view looking north on SW Trenton (including her neighbor’s “authentic train signal):

We’re not too far north of there, a little bit higher elevation, but much snowier here. New photo shortly. Yours are welcome too.

7:51 AM UPDATE: East Marginal is “not an option,” we’re hearing via cdawg 2610 on Twitter – took a long time. Also note that Fauntleroy ferry dock is slippery, per DLGordo on Twitter (see the “live camera” on the WSB Traffic page). Meantime, the photo immediately above was taken a few minutes ago looking north on California from Thistle (our HQ vicinity) – both arterials but starting to get some snow sticking on the surface despite ostensible earlier deicing. And here’s California looking southbound, just north of The Junction, taken about 20 minutes ago:

8:16 AM UPDATE: More reports of slippery roads (co-publisher Patrick took the north-of-Junction photo on the way back from checking 41st/Hinds call and he says the Charlestown vicinity was especially slippery). Thanks again to everyone sharing road and bus reports in the comments. After the commute, we will start adding non-snow news BELOW this story, since it’s programmed to stay atop the page (yes, there IS some non-snow news to talk about!). Meantime, Cathy shares this photo taken about 7:45 am from Upper Alki – they’ve got about half an inch so far:

8:32 AM UPDATE: SDOT says that as of 8 am, they were planning to send out snowplows as needed. Meantime, a couple scenes from Sunrise Heights; first from Ty, looking toward Westside School (WSB sponsor):

Ty has also posted an update on his neighborhood site Roxhill Rox. And via Facebook from Michelle – including the iconic cow-topped John’s Corner Deli, at 35th/Webster:

9:22 AM UPDATE: The snow’s back to falling more seriously. Very off-again, on-again. We have a beach-level photo of Alki, courtesy of Cami:

9:49 AM UPDATE: The National Weather Service has now issued a winter-storm warning for our area. Also, an UPDATE from Seattle Public Schools – they are now ending ALL activities for the day at 12:35 pm – no after-school activities, no conferences after 12:35, and as reported earlier, middle- and high-school classes are ending for the day at that point too. Also just in: Seattle Lutheran HS out at 12:15 pm, West Seattle Montessori out at noon. (added) Holy Rosary’s dismissing at noon, Our Lady of Guadalupe at 12:30.

10:23 AM UPDATE: Seattle City Council is in the middle of a prescheduled briefing on the city’s snow/ice response for the year. You can watch live on channel 21 or online at seattlechannel.org. Nothing new you hadn’t heard of before, but SDOT notes they currently have 25 of their 30 snow/ice/deice etc. trucks out, and they reiterate they are not clearing/deicing residential-only streets. SDOT official notes dryly, “We are the second hilliest city in the nation after San Francisco.” P.S. The snow here stopped almost the moment the “winter storm warning” came in.

11:11 AM UPDATE: And … the snow’s back. Pretty good shower (?) right now. Meantime, thanks to Sully for a photo from Westwood Village:

Sully also reports, “Parking lot looked really good. Rt. 21 snow shuttle running south of Roxbury, Arbor Heights loop.”

12:15 PM: We’ll be starting the afternoon story shortly – latest info will be there. (Update – here’s the link.)

83 Replies to "West Seattle snow: Road, bus, school updates; photos ..."

  • PeterT November 22, 2010 (5:03 am)

    Snowing around the 5900 block of Beach Drive at 0430. Sticking to rooftops, but not the road.

  • Sabra Schneider November 22, 2010 (5:10 am)

    Friendly reminder to check http://www.kingcounty.gov/metro/snow before your commute today. Buses are currently on snow routes and riders can sign up for route specific alerts.


  • bertha November 22, 2010 (5:11 am)

    Snowing in Highland Park. Cars have a light coat of snow — leave time to scrape those windows!

  • HelperMonkey November 22, 2010 (5:12 am)

    snow sticking on roads Arbor Heights

  • Cami November 22, 2010 (5:13 am)

    Light snow at Alki. Sticking.

  • pfeller November 22, 2010 (5:25 am)

    snowing in white center. Trying to stick to roads.

  • Cami November 22, 2010 (5:29 am)

    Seattle schools site says middle and high schools will dismiss at 12:35. No mention of late start.

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (5:41 am)

      Thanks, I spotted that a few mins ago and added it to the story. We will have major news like that at the TOP of the story, before the live bridge pic, throughout the morning, with continuing narrative (and photos as we get them) beneath. Once it’s light, road photos in specific areas very much welcome too, all areas .. editor@westseattleblog.com etc. … TR

  • JayDee November 22, 2010 (5:49 am)

    Anyone heard/seen a 56X come by this AM?

  • deb November 22, 2010 (5:54 am)

    just a reminder about the reroutes for the 54s…they said they will be using the lower bridge…it is always a mess there on Mondays with all of the trucks trying to get to the terminals after the weekend and all of the construction…should be extra messy this a.m. so give yourselves plenty of time…

  • herongrrrl November 22, 2010 (5:59 am)

    Just came back from downtown via Admiral. Hwy 99 is in good shape except the westbound ramp from 99 to the bridge had lots of snow sticking to it. Admiral between the bridge and the Junction is in good shape, obviously de-iced. Between California and about 49th there hasn’t been any de-icing and the snow is sticking to the road. Wasn’t slippery when I went over but be aware it could get that way. Further toward Alki on Admiral was find as of this writing.

  • CitizenR November 22, 2010 (6:00 am)

    So what are the roads like on 35th? I live up by the water tower on top of 35th … side street has plenty of snow, I need to get to Mount St. V!

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (6:11 am)

      CitizenR, we’re watching FB and Twitter for road reports as well and nothing new on 35th BUT it should have been deiced, as were California/Thistle in our area, and if so, that should mean OK shape …

  • Mnkygrl November 22, 2010 (6:12 am)

    Husband just called to say made it to work in Issaquah with no real problems. Said both bridges fine and no snow on the eastside so far if anyone is heading that way.

  • k November 22, 2010 (6:26 am)

    snow sticking on the roads in south admiral. been steady for a couple hours now.

  • Maggie Sudduth November 22, 2010 (6:27 am)

    About 1/2 inch of snow here on SW Vashon Island, still a few flakes coming down. I’ll send in a picture when it’s light out. I work in downtown Seattle but I’m just going to stay home today. Keep up the great coverage!

  • CitizenR November 22, 2010 (6:48 am)

    Thanks WSB! I’m on my way! You are great by the way! I always look to you for West Seattle News!

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (6:49 am)

      Thank you. Let us know, when you get there, what it was like – I’m betting it’ll be mostly smooth sailing – but that’s good for other folks to know since 7:30-8:30 is prime commute time … TR

  • Cami November 22, 2010 (6:52 am)

    Snow falling again at Alki after a short break.

  • me2 November 22, 2010 (6:54 am)

    I took the 21 local at 5:30 to downtown. It came on time and had no problems. The hills on 35th appear to be de-iced. The driver took it slow and careful. We did go over the low bridge.

  • Sue November 22, 2010 (7:03 am)

    Anybody know how it is in terms of walking? Did everything ice up and get very slippery, or is it easy going?

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (7:07 am)

      Sue – I’ve been outside a couple times – it’s a little slippery but hadn’t iced as of last check. Going back out momentarily. I’d suggest maximum traction shoes though!

  • D November 22, 2010 (7:11 am)

    Can anyone report on how thistle is btw 35th and California?

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (7:16 am)

      D – Thistle from California east uphill to 41st ish looks bare and wet !

  • LB November 22, 2010 (7:26 am)

    “Anyone heard/seen a 56X come by this AM?”

    There was one this morning (spotted on Spokane St around 6:10 am or so). The driver missed the turn onto the low-level West Seattle bridge and ended up on West Marginal Way (I don’t know if the driver was able to turn around or ended up having to use the 1st Ave bridge… I was on the 116 directly behind the 56X).

  • bridge to somewhere November 22, 2010 (7:26 am)

    I got from Westwood to Bellevue without many problems today, although I will say that 35th was a little dicier in some spots (e.g., the top of high point) than I would have expected. (Keep in mind, however, that I’m super-sensitive to traction because I have a light, rear-drive car that is absolutely terrible in the snow).

  • Alison November 22, 2010 (7:26 am)

    Snowing again in Seaview!

  • cathyw November 22, 2010 (7:41 am)

    Lots of fat, fluffy flakes in Alki right now. My outdoor thermometer says 30 degrees. Snow doesn’t seem to be sticking to the roads though and traffic is moving fine.

  • GD November 22, 2010 (7:48 am)

    Went to downtown via WS Bridge & 99 and just returned… Fauntleroy is bumper to bumper from mid-span to Alaska. No accidents, just careful drivers. The brige is wet and appears to be de-iced.

  • JanS November 22, 2010 (7:49 am)

    It’s definitely white here on 42nd Ave. SW just south of Admiral Way. The construction workers are at it bright and early over at Safeway. I feel bad for them. This can’t be fun. Check out the construction webcam:


  • jay November 22, 2010 (7:53 am)

    I just drove North Delridge to South Lake Union, via viaduct. Everything was fine, although you can see potential that it might get worse after more snow falls. The bridge and viaduct had thin snow covers between lanes…worst at the the south end of the viaduct. Nothing bad, but just enough to make me slow down a little. And the snow is just beginning to stick here in SLU.

    Another upside to the tunnel: no ice and snow…or even rain!

  • JEM November 22, 2010 (8:04 am)

    Anyone seen the elusive arbor heights shuttle? I’ve never had any luck with it, may just have to start walking

  • wsgolfer November 22, 2010 (8:11 am)

    Since the 773 (shuttle to the water taxi) isn’t showing up on the list on the metro snow page, I assume it is running on schedule? Figure it may be quicker to take the water taxi today than a bus that is relegated to the lower bridge.

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (8:13 am)

      WSGolfer – I’ll ask Metro about that one.

  • Colleen Harris November 22, 2010 (8:15 am)

    I would have been the not smart person taking East Marginal–it must be a skill to get into 40 mins of construction traffic when it’s snowing. Otherwise that drive was fine to Mercer Island.

  • GWS November 22, 2010 (8:18 am)

    Hmm, just noticed that the city has not pre-positioned the “Snow Closure” signs yet. These are usually at the top and bottom of the Charlestown Hill shortly after Halloween

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (8:39 am)

      GWS – that’s an interesting observation. I will ask SDOT.
      WSGolfer – Linda at Metro says that there is no snow routing for those runs so that’s why they’re not listed in the “alert.” She is checking to make sure they’re running problem-free.

  • Christina November 22, 2010 (8:22 am)

    Just drove from White Center to the Morgan Junction. Down in unincorporated King County, the snow is really sticking to the roads and they’re slippery.
    Roxbury and 35th were both in good condition. The de-icing stuff has kept the roads pretty clear. California between Morgan and Holden was alright. The hill for people going uphill was mostly clear. Downhill was a bit snowier. Holden was covered in snow the whole way.
    The Thriftway parking lot was clear, and the store still had eggs and toilet paper. Stock up while you can.
    All the drivers (except for one) were very courteous and cautious.

  • Renee November 22, 2010 (8:23 am)

    Drove to Kent this morning around 7:00 – the drive was fine – main roads were great, some of the side streets had a little more snow on them. A little snowier in Kent then W. Seattle, but not by much. Very light snow falling where I am now (close to Covington).

  • HelperMonkey November 22, 2010 (8:25 am)

    road report: residential roads in AH are slick as snot. 35th is clear for the most part – I took 35th from Roxbury to Thistle. Thistle a little slick with snow on the ground. California from Thistle to the AK Junction clear. didn’t see anyone doing anything stupid! :D

  • bsmomma November 22, 2010 (8:36 am)

    South of Fauntleroy on Calif. Ave was pretty slippery…….slid into the convenient store parking lot. Taking a Right (east) on to Fauntleroy was very slippery. The ABS kept kicking in. That stretch had not been sanded. Very slow commute……35 min. from WS to Sodo. But that’s OK, Because IT’S SNOWING!!!! :)

  • wsgolfer November 22, 2010 (8:39 am)

    Just got on the 8:33 773 shuttle at the junction. It is running just a minute late. The water taxi may be a sure fire way to avoid the congestion on the lower bridge!

  • Cami November 22, 2010 (8:48 am)

    Opted to head back home with the kid after slipping up Admiral. Not sure I’d be able to pick him up at 12:35!

  • k2 November 22, 2010 (9:04 am)

    i biked to work today, no problems here…

  • wsgolfer November 22, 2010 (9:09 am)

    The 8:55 water taxi is cruising along right on time. The captain even joked that they put on their studded propeller this morning :).

    FYI, it isn’t a county boat, but one of the argosy sightseers instead.

  • Kerry November 22, 2010 (9:13 am)

    Report from the Mount area: 35th is moving quite nicely, and people are getting up Hudson and into the Mount lot easily (for now!).

  • Kerry November 22, 2010 (9:13 am)

    Report from the Mount area: 35th is moving quite nicely, and people are getting up Hudson and into the Mount lot easily (for now!). Thanks, WSB!

  • flowerpeta November 22, 2010 (9:17 am)

    Ugh, it took us over an hour to get from the Westwood neighborhood to downtown on the 21 local. There were no 21 express busses running. Missed my morning meeting downtown… not sure that’s a bad thing!

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (9:19 am)

      For anyone looking for info on Highland Park Way – we got some info via Twitter that it’s OK to drive too (hadn’t been mentioned here last time we checked) – TR

  • JEM November 22, 2010 (9:24 am)

    I just saw a 21 express, but I need the local!

  • desertdweller November 22, 2010 (9:28 am)

    I just got back from an outing and wanted to update. Westwood to the Junction via 35th is not great going North, especially on top of Gatewood hill. A car almost swerved into me. For some reason northbound was a lot more icy than southbound.

    The worst part on my northbound trip were the cars passing me, still convinced they could travel 35+ through the ice on Gatewood. PLEASE USE CAUTION!

  • mae November 22, 2010 (9:38 am)

    I just got word that Holy Names is letting school out at 11. I can’t wait to drive to Capital Hill again. Lots of snow sticking up there.

  • bridge to somewhere November 22, 2010 (9:47 am)

    That picture from 35th/Webster dmonstrates desertdweller’s point: 35th is worse in some spots than you’d expect, especially considering it our our chief N/W route in West Seattle. SDOT, more ice treatment please!

  • bsmomma November 22, 2010 (9:48 am)

    Still coming down in the SoDo!

  • maplesyrup November 22, 2010 (9:49 am)

    Just drove from the Admiral district to Beach Drive, then along Beach Drive to Fauntleroy, past Lincoln Park and up to Westwood Village.

    All of the roads were fine. The only problem was a few ninnies who thought they should be going 10 mph under the speed limit.

  • Keva November 22, 2010 (10:05 am)

    Anyone made the trek to Redmond today? I work second shift and am going to take the bus I think, as I’m not too keen on driving back up an icy WS bridge tonight. Tiny light weight car does not do so well on icy conditions!

  • justobserving November 22, 2010 (10:09 am)

    Better 10 mph under than 10 miles over given this weather and still getting used to some “snow legs”. Safer Thanksgiving better than dealing with accidents, insurance companies or worse… Happy Holidays everyone!

  • ad November 22, 2010 (10:14 am)

    maplesyrup – perhaps their cars slip and slide much easier than yours?

    my car was fine except for one little slide while turning. i drove the speed limit. but others who were not did not bother me..

  • gina November 22, 2010 (10:15 am)

    Is the Water Taxi using the Argosy Dock, or the Colman Dock slip on the Downtown side? (since they are using the Argosy boats.)

    And anyone that rode the 56X this morning with the medical emergency–was the woman okay?

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (10:17 am)

      They are using the Argosy dock exclusively since they are using those boats – they haven’t used Pier 50 since the Rachel Marie had its crunch-up. Which reminds me it’s time to check on how repairs are going …

  • westside November 22, 2010 (10:18 am)

    The Water Taxi is using the Argosy dock until their boat is repaired sometime soon.

  • dr.moxie November 22, 2010 (10:19 am)

    Drove from Arbor Heights to Georgetown this morning with no problems. Encountered more people being overcautious than speeding. I’m glad that people are being careful, but 10 miles an hour on Highway 99 isn’t necessary when the roads are mostly clear and traffic is flowing normally!

  • coffee November 22, 2010 (10:21 am)

    just remember black ice is called the for a reason! And a 4 X 4 does not mean you can drive regular on ice……

  • goodgraces November 22, 2010 (11:02 am)

    Anyone been up/down the central Pigeon Point access road, a.k.a. super-hilly Andover, between Delridge and 21st??

  • Forest November 22, 2010 (11:06 am)

    I have a problem with drivers who seem to be cruising through several West Seattle neighborhoods for no apparent reason except to feel invincible and better than other drivers on snow and ice. You know who you are.

  • Cami November 22, 2010 (11:15 am)

    Snow is falling again on Alki after a good hour of no snow.

  • celeste17 November 22, 2010 (11:35 am)

    Snowing outside my window right now in downtown Seattle at the courthouse. Big fat swirling flakes.

  • desertdweller November 22, 2010 (11:35 am)

    I’m sorry, but I cannot believe people are complaining about cars going under the speed limit right now. I’m a pretty aggressive driver usually as far as speed is concerned, but not in this weather.

  • bsmomma November 22, 2010 (11:41 am)

    Snowing again, pretty good down in the SoDo!

  • umm November 22, 2010 (11:43 am)

    Can someone explain to me why the schools are closing early? It’s just snow, and not even very much of it. Seems pretty ridiculous to me.

  • CMT November 22, 2010 (11:47 am)

    I believe it is the ice and not the snow that is causing schools to close.

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (11:51 am)

      What Seattle Public Schools cited earlier is the expectation of more this afternoon, which is what forecasters are calling for. They also think it’s going to get really windy.

  • bsmomma November 22, 2010 (11:55 am)

    As a driver and a mom, if it does actually snow more, with ice and wind, I’d much rather the kids be home safe and sound and busses off the streets prior to all us working folks attempting to get home. PLUS, I’m sure it’s an easy week at school with the Thankgsgiving Holiday/short week. AND those kids are most likely not even paying attention to anything but the snow outside. So, I’m not concerned with the loss of education hours.

    • WSB November 22, 2010 (11:57 am)

      And the venerable Cliff Mass (thanks to Bill Reiswig for sharing the link on our FB wall, we hadn’t seen the update yet) thinks it could get REALLY REALLY snowy later … We’ll be launching the afternoon snow story here in a couple minutes, as we look ahead to all this … TR

  • ad November 22, 2010 (11:57 am)

    It’s currently 28degrees out, the winds are supposed to pick up and it’s supposed to get colder. I also think they are closing because of ice. Also there is always the possibility of more snow coming down during the afternoon and commute hours…

  • Jack Loblaw November 22, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    Back in the 80’s there was a snow event that is most likely at the root of any Seattle Public School snow closure. It snowed about 10″ starting in the late morning to afternoon while the schools were in session. It was predicted to be bad but the schools opened anyway. When schools got out the school buses became stuck – this was the era of mandatory busing so most kids went to school on the other side of the city unlike now. Many students did not get home until after midnight. Parents were understandably angry and some got their lawyers involved. Now days I suspect that most decisions are based on the ” Are we going to end up being sued ?” mentality.

  • umm November 22, 2010 (12:09 pm)

    Jack- Thank you, that makes a lot more sense to me. I was just a little bewildered by it. Back home we’d get FEET of snow and ice and there was maybe a snow day once every few years, so closing early for an inch just seemed weird.

  • seattledifferent November 22, 2010 (12:16 pm)

    Welcome to Seattle ummm! This is the norm here

  • FunnerThanNothing November 22, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    Rant & Rave: Rant for all the people who had the time to pull over and yell at me because I got stuck behind a car that ended up in the ditch, and I was well on my way to be in the ditch as well nor was it safe to get out and clear the tires. Especially loved the city personell who instead of seeing if the people in the ditch were ok also demanded I move my car or it would end up in the ditch. Really geniuses? Man people, the only thing colder than you all who chastised is the weather.

    But rave for the one selfless kid who said “let me push you” and took all of but 5 seconds to get me out of the way.

    After the medics showed up for the car in the ditch anyways everyone had to stop for awhile. The people in the ditch were ok.

    And I repaid my snow-karma to shovel out the person who was stuck in my driveway when I arrived home. I had a chance to meet with an unknown neightbor over coffee.

    People, please be patient and see if there is anything you can do to assist. It’s easier than you think!

  • jeunglady November 22, 2010 (4:27 pm)

    hubby taking the bus home from downtown- he just texted that 35th ave is closed so bus has to go around.

  • Leroylanding November 22, 2010 (7:32 pm)

    Took 2 hours to cross the W.Seattle Bridge. There were a lot of people getting stuck before the crest of the bridge West bound. There were cars blocking both lanes near the Delridge on-ramp going East bound. This was about an hour and a half ago (6:00), but you still might want to find a different way around if you’re able to. Though the surface streets are probably just as chaotic. Stay safe if you’re planning to drive tonight or tomorrow.

Sorry, comment time is over.