West Seattle, Washington
What you see glistening in the streetlight on the silhouetted rosebush and escallonia is what will likely make tomorrow morning dicier than today – a coating of ice, courtesy of the freezing rain that followed today’s snow. The National Weather Service expects that “rain” to end soon – just a chance of a little more snow in the forecast – but the temperature’s below freezing and that means no melt-off yet. Be careful especially on your front steps and sidewalk, even if you have a great helper like 6-year-old Zach:
Throughout the night, we have been adding to the list of school closures for tomorrow – so far, almost everyone has made their announcement already. Still awaiting South Seattle Community College, which says it’ll decide by 5 am. And we’ll likely hear in the morning from Tilden School (WSB sponsor), perhaps the only school in West Seattle open today (and recess was sure fun)!
For transit, Metro continues on snow routes. But here’s hoping you can stay home, or close to home, and enjoy sights like the Longfellow Creek “fishbone” bridge, photographed by LK:
… and the Alki Statue of Liberty, which faced into the north wind and seaspray today, as shown in David Hutchinson‘s photo:
P.S. We have yet another wave of photos still to be added to today’s gallery in the next hour or so – check back!
Greg Daly just shared that video of his skiing adventure today from the highest point in Seattle – Myrtle Reservoir Park, 520 feet above sea level – down to the water, at Lowman Beach Park. He’s not the first to do it – after Snowmare 2008, we learned of a group who made the same trip twice – but Greg’s the only one we’ve heard about this time around!
The only public meeting not canceled last night was the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, which proceeded with its usual agenda of crime-trend updates from Southwest Precinct leadership, followed by a guest speaker.
Operations Lt. Pierre Davis summarized the wave of burglaries that “hit hard” in West Seattle toward the end of 2011 – and the 17 arrests (as of last week) that he said have made a a dent in the trend. He says regional agencies connected it all to a “burglary ring” that had been working in South King County as well as Seattle (and not just WS), possibly even Portland. The resulting (albeit temporary) explosion in burglaries was so big at one point, he said, that in the first week of December, there were 25 burglaries in this area – but by the first week of January, that was down to five, closer to the usual average. Lt. Davis said arrests were possible largely thanks to good evidence and good witness descriptions – which led to another reminder, if you see something suspicious, call it in.
The night’s special guest was Officer W.J. Witt, who worked with the Aggressive Driver Response Team before moving recently to the new Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Squad. He spent much of his time fielding specific questions – including, what can be done about “aggressive drivers” who aren’t in the usual places often staked out by police. His answer: Call 911 if it’s a problem happening *now*. Otherwise, you can also leave a message with the Traffic division – ADRT is part of that division (not based in WS) – at 206-684-8722. Regarding the CVES – you can get a taste of what they’re up to, by checking out this recent report from SPD Blotter.
7:13 PM: Right now, police are responding to a report of possible trouble atop the SW Charlestown hill, a few blocks west of California, a popular sledding spot today – someone called 911 to report fireworks, a bonfire, and possible alcohol use. The fireworks component reminds us that we finally got an answer to a question several asked about an incident southwest of The Junction last night. Neighbors saw multiple police cars after what sounded like gunshots. Southwest Precinct Lt. Pierre Davis tells WSB it was determined to be fireworks – witnesses saw them being lit.
ADDED 8:09 PM: Neighbor CR sent these photos from Charlestown, following our publication of the report above, and says:
As a neighbor at the top of Charlestown Hill, I’ve enjoyed watching the kids and adults have fun here all day. Everyone was very respectful and friendly, I can’t imagine why someone called the police. Fireworks? yes, a couple Bonfire? yep, on the concrete where it was nice and safe. How often do we get a real good snow here in Seattle? People really need to lighten up and let the overworked police focus on bigger stuff.
Before our next weather-related roundup, we’re going to squeeze in a few non-weather stories. This one is from our friends across Puget Sound at The Kitsap Sun: They are reporting on a study presented earlier this week in Olympia, suggesting dramatic changes to the Washington State Ferries fare system. One of those suggestions would remove tollbooths from the Fauntleroy dock, and instead implement the “Good To Go” electronic pass system that the state is using for the Tacoma Narrows and Highway 520 bridges. Read The Sun’s story here.
UPDATED 1:44 PM FRIDAY: Seattle Public Schools has announced that NEXT FRIDAY 1/27 will be the first make-up day for the snow days this week.
Here’s the list of school closures/changes announced for today (please note that this story has been updated over the past three days so many of the comments are from earlier this week):
Westside School closed Fri.
Hope Lutheran School closed Fri.
Explorer West Middle School closed Fri.
West Seattle Montessori/West Seattle Academy closed Fri.
Holy Rosary School closed Fri.
Our Lady of Guadalupe School closed Fri.
Holy Famliy School closed Fri.
Seattle Lutheran High School closed Fri.
Community School of West Seattle closed Fri.
Shorewood Christian School closed Fri.
Kennedy High School (Burien) closed Fri.
**Tilden School is again “open if you can get there safely.”**
South Seattle Community College closed Fri.
University of Washington (Seattle) closed Fri.
1:01 PM: The classic song “With a Little Help from My Friends” might be today’s theme song.
Above, Suzanne shared the photo of a stuck U.S. Postal Service truck getting help on the Barton hill in Fauntleroy from her husband, among others; below, tweeted by PCTheGov, a Metro bus getting a tow from alongside Capco Plaza at 42nd/Alaska:
Speaking of buses, the 54 is back on its full route. Meantime – it’s been snowing for 11 hours — still very small flakes – and we keep hearing it’s going to stop any minute now.
1:49 PM: The snow is lighter now. The forecast continues to include a chance of snow off and on through tomorrow, but after that, by all accounts, it’s rain, and much warmer. Above, a look at Delridge/Juneau, courtesy of Sage K. We’ll include mostly informational photos – road conditions/challenges, for example – in this coverage, but we also are continuing to add to a gallery of snow-fun shots – see it here.
2:33 PM UPDATE: Looking ahead to the commute home – if you had to go to work (and some didn’t – we have heard the figure cited that the area traffic has been about a third of normal today) – remember that the 2nd/Columbia bus stop downtown is not served during snow-route operations (3rd/Spring instead). On the roads, West Seattle Be Prepared relays the report that Pigeon Point has pretty much gone unplowed today. Jen tells us Arbor Heights is mostly unplowed and Roxbury is slushy. JayDee spotted a snow-removal crew near The Junction, Oregon/Glenn:
SDOT has just sent its afternoon overview:
Seattle deployed a fleet of 30 plows, de-icing trucks, and graders to remove snow from approximately 750 miles of priority roadways in the city today. Residents are discouraged from traveling to help keep roads open and safe for emergency vehicles, transit and snow removal.
Road crews continue to focus on plowing and salting major arterials and transit routes for emergency vehicles and buses. If you must drive, be prepared with tire chains, warm clothes and sturdy footwear. Be aware of the potential for icy or slippery conditions.
On residential streets, residents should be cautious about accumulated ice and snow which will not clear until temperatures rise above freezing for an extended period.
Melting snow can overwhelm storm drains by filling them with ice, leaves and accumulated street debris. Clogged drains can result in flooding and hazardous road conditions. In Seattle, there are about 80,000 storm drains — far more than city crews can clear quickly. Residents are asked to clear storm drains on their streets if it can be done safely.
Please use caution if sledding today. In 1989, a 12 year old girl was killed in a sledding accident in Magnolia. Discovery Park, Camp Long, Carkeek Park and Seward Park are open for snow play.
Businesses and residents are reminded to keep their sidewalks clear to help pedestrians walk safely. Pedestrians should be cautious on snow or ice covered surfaces.
3:20 PM UPDATE: If you had been planning on attending a meeting, going out to dinner, etc., tonight, check our list of closures/changes, which has grown through the day – not necessarily all-inclusive, but we’ve listed everything that’s been called to our attention or that we’ve seen mentioned online. We’re also awaiting any early decisions on tomorrow’s school schedules – and will add them here when word comes in.
4:31 PM: Seattle Public Schools just announced, no school tomorrow.
4:41 PM: Vashon has canceled school for tomorrow too. We’ve started a new story listing Thursday closures – find it here; we’ll update it through the night and into the morning.
5:05 PM: We’re monitoring scanner, TV, and multiple other sources for potential commute problems. None so far. Took the photo above at the nearby corner of California/Thistle, much clearer than it was earlier – and moments later, another plow went by, headed eastward on Thistle (the photo looks north on Calif.). Side streets that haven’t been extensively driven, though, are still snow-covered.
5:32 PM: We’re starting to get some Thursday non-school closures too. We’ll continue to add them to this list of non-school facilities/businesses/etc. closures/changes started earlier today, since some of those are still in effect. Some restaurants, for example, are closing early. (If you’re looking for numbers to call before going out – the WSB Restaurant Guide might help.)
6:31 PM: An apparent weather casualty – that sign at the already-worrisome 47th/Admiral intersection, photographed by Beth Stone. Whether you are walking, driving, or riding tomorrow, ice is the new concern, as freezing rain is falling now, and freezing atop the layer of existing snow. Arterials get salt; side streets are left to their own devices. The major warmup isn’t expected for another 24 hours or so. Meantime, school closures keep coming in – Westside is the latest.
7:31 PM: And, not too much later, several others – all listed here. We will be starting an evening weather report by 8:30 or so, but are working on a few other things – non-snow news, plus more photo gallery additions – in the meantime.)
(NEW PHOTOS ADDED AT 11:51 PM)
Thank you so much for the photos you’re sharing! We’re setting up this gallery for the ones that aren’t woven into our ongoing updates – since this will be a day to remember. For people of all ages – above, Sarah‘s photo from snow fun on Alki – and critters too – Kerry shared the photo of “Chewy“:
Next, it’s Eve, who’s helping the West Seattle Be Prepared folks, who are running a “mini-emergency ops center” sharing some neighborhood information (check @wsbeprepared on Twitter):
Back to Alki – Debra Salazar Herbst shares the overview – including some cross-country skiers, if you look closely:
Also at the beach, Terry and his dogs were out early this morning:
All over West Seattle, a whole lot of sledding! First, Sweeney’s Plumbing (WSB sponsor) caught these sledders along the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail:
Jeff shares the scene at 47th and Alaska:
Gail T watched sledders from her living room in Fauntlee Hills – this is along SW Trenton:
Even with school out today, there’s plenty of school spirit! In this next photo, Chief Sealth International High School Cheerhawks senior Shayla Clement (right) and junior Merissa McEwan (left) “build a Snow-Girl with school spirit! Go Hawks!”:
Even the UW was closed today – but one of Debra’s neighbors on Alki came down with a case of Husky fever:
Maybe this was “cabin fever.” Kyle Bolton of West Seattle, captioned “WHAT snow day?”
And after you come in from the snow, you have to get dried off – Julie says her dog Harper loves the snow:
More sledding: JayDee caught the Charlestown Hill crowd on camera:
And while we’re getting a lot more snow-dog photos – this is the first snow chicken, courtesy of Craig:
ADDED 7:51 PM: More of the photos WSB’ers are sharing. First, more snow dogs. Kate and Tito Titus had to towel off 14-year-old Grizz after a snow adventure:
Here’s Tiffani‘s snow dog, Aspen:
Beatrice in Fauntlee Hills shares this pic of Tucker, exploring:
Different creatures now – from Bryan B, snow sharks in Lincoln Park!
Emma Airhart was creating a self-portrait in snow, according to mom Sarah:
From Anne Giroux, Charlie Douglas, Nichole Tucker, and Adam Cox – their snow creation:
Frank captured kids having snow fun at 37th and Hanford:
A colorful contrast at Schmitz Park, from Doreen:
And the snow-bound Alki Lighthouse, from Deanna:
ADDED 11:51 PM: One more wave, starting with Alison‘s photo of Harrison along SW Graham in the Morgan Junction area:
We’ve seen lots of snow dogs… but how about snow cats? Looking out from inside, it’s Katie’s BlueMoo:
Back outdoors, Valorie‘s cat Bodhi, in Seaview:
Now back to the snow dogs – Roxanna is a guide dog in training, 7 months old, enjoying her first Seattle snowfall, says puppy-raiser McKenna Kormanik from West Seattle See Dogs:
Another snow pooch and snow person in Rachel‘s photo:
And look what Ellen, Sam, Jama, and Katie created in front of C and P Coffee (WSB sponsor)!
Thanks for all the photos, everyone who sent them, and have a great Thursday!
Most recent update, 3:31 pm – note, if you are looking for school closures, they are here
Seattle Public Library system closed
Seattle Parks facilities (community centers, pools, etc.) closed
West Seattle Food Bank closed
White Center Food Bank closed
King County Government delayed till 10 am
Seattle Chinese Garden (which is at South Seattle CC) closed
Seattle Public Utilities says NO residential pickup, limited commercial pickup
Little Gym of West Seattle closed
Bird on a Wire Espresso closed
West Seattle YMCA: Morning Family Programs closed at both locations
Head to Toe Day Spa open 11 am-5 pm
West Seattle Natural Medicine open reduced hours
Dr. Suzanne Fiala‘s office, closed
Avalon Restaurant, closed
Clementine in The Junction, closed (but you can shop online)
Service Dog Academy, closed
Young At Art in The Junction, closed
ArtsWest canceling tonight’s ‘All Through the Night,’ exchange tickets for any other night of run
Illusions Hair Design closing at 2:30 pm
Salty’s on Alki, closed
JaK’s Grill (all locations), closed
The Wash Dog, closed
Twilight Artist Collective, closed
Spring Hill, closed
Eats Market Café open till 4 pm
Zippy’s Giant Burgers “open as long as (they) can hold out”
Alki Community Council meeting canceled
Chief Sealth Int’l High School band concert postponed
Teri Ensley/Furry Faces benefits postponed till this Sunday, January 22nd
Chief Sealth tour for the 20th for Madison/Pathfinder families is POSTPONED
We have deleted the Wednesday list to avoid conFusion, and are starting fresh here.
Other closures/changes? We’ll keep adding as we hear about them. firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302
(TOPLINES: Snow started 2 am … most schools closed, listed here … no trash [etc.] pickup today … non-school closures/changes listed here (including 3 meetings canceled for tonight) … Metro on snow routes, with some cancellations)
(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:07 AM: As noted in our overnight coverage, the snow began to fall around 2 am. No big flakes, though, so it hasn’t piled up in a big way. Most schools have announced they’re closed – here’s the official list – we’ll be compiling a list of any other closures there are to report (facilities, businesses, etc.) so please let us know what you’re hearing/seeing. The city is working on the arterials as promised (here’s the tracking map); so far, no major road trouble reported. Metro is continuing on snow routes, with some cancellations – check the list here. Your commute report is appreciated if you have to go in – whether by car, bus, bike, Water Taxi, etc.!
6:43 AM UPDATE: ***No Wednesday trash/recycling/etc. pickup***, the city has announced – if you have Wednesday pickup, put it out tomorrow. In comments, Bob S. notes that while the SDOT map suggests the west leg of Admiral Way is cleared, it doesn’t look that way from where he is – so again, eyewitness commute reports (and when feasible after sunrise, photos) VERY much appreciated, but of course no texting while driving, please!
7:15 AM UPDATE: Went out for a firsthand look. About 2 inches where we are (Upper Fauntleroy/south Gatewood, about 350′ elevation). Non-arterial streets completely snow-covered; arterials have at least one traveled lane. Here’s our look at Thistle/California from just before 7:
Forecast says the winter-storm warning remains up till 8 tonight, AND that it will be windy this afternoon.
7:33 AM UPDATE: Seattle Public Library announces its branches will be open 1-5 pm today. We have started our “other closures/changes” list – find it here – and that’s part of it. Another commute note – Water Taxi running OK, says Charlie via Twitter. (added) And Russ tweeted this photo:
8:05 AM UPDATE: Outside WS, if you get stuck in a pay station/meter spot, you will NOT get ticketed “during snow response,” the city says in response to a WSB commenter’s question we forwarded. We’re headed back out the door for an updated look at nearby streets. P.S. The unstoppable Tilden School (WSB sponsor) says it IS open for those who can get there safely, per Julie Enevoldsen. Also just got a “short-term forecast” from National Weather Service, expecting “moderate snow” to continue in Seattle till at least 10 am.
8:32 AM UPDATE: Could not resist that one – Machel Spence captures a house finch’s bewilderment at the unusual sight. (We’ll be publishing photos today both in ongoing coverage like this and for a separate gallery.) Still no major road troubles aside from some stuck buses – Wildwood in Fauntleroy is the most recent trouble spot mentioned on the scanner – but we just got a tweet suggesting things are worsening as the snow continues; Keith just came back from downtown and says he saw some drivers struggling on the bridge.
9 AM UPDATE: That’s an updated look at the two-arterial turn near WSB HQ, looking north on California as it turns eastward uphill onto Thistle. Snow blowing sideways out of the north here, at least three inches on the ground.
9:21 AM: From Jeff, a shot looking southward at 35th just past Holden. On the business front, we have heard from Mountain to Sound Outfitters (3602 SW Alaska), which has gear not only for whatever ski trip this weather enables, but also for you to get around today – “For everyone stuck in WS, we have gloves, hats, and clothing if people are not prepared of the storm. We also have a dozen pairs of rental snowshoes as well, not to often you get to try it at sea level!” says proprietor Greg Whittaker.
9:54 AM: Ron Zuber on the SW Morgan hill east of Morgan Junction advises avoiding it: “Between California and 35th (it) is a mess. Don’t try it unless you have studs or chains.” (He should know – he is an emergency-preparedness expert. And we thank him for this pic:)
Morgan Community Association, by the way, has canceled tonight’s meeting (rescheduled to January 25th), as has the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council. (Our list of non-school closures/changes keeps getting longer – see it here.)
10:59 AM UPDATE: We’ll keep this story going till about noon, and then switch over to an afternoon report. In comments, there was a question about who’s open for lunch. More restaurants than you might think! We have been monitoring Facebook and Twitter as well as receiving e-mails, and have noted in the comments who’s open, as well as noting on our closures page who’s closed or changed operations. All info welcome – email@example.com, or post a comment. Meantime, if you’re reading this from outside WS and wondering, still snowing but still very fine, and blowing out of the north.
11:13 AM UPDATE: Tonight’s Seattle School Board meeting – which included a key vote on “capacity management” for next year, affecting many West Seattle families – is postponed till next Wednesday. Meantime, the aforementioned lunch discussion (who’s open?) is also happening on the WSB Facebook page – direct link here. Meantime, from Anne at Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor), Morgan Junction:
And a fun photo (while we set up today’s gallery) from Robert Perry – the “Alki Sentry”:
Yes, some people biked in this morning – Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom (a West Seattleite and bicyclist) told one rider’s story on seattletimes.com.