(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story will stay atop the home page through the evening, but we’lll be adding new stories, snow and non-snow, beneath it – scroll down!)
(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
2:30 PM: Here’s where things stand as the afternoon commute, for those who weren’t off on this MLK Day, approaches:
–Main roads in West Seattle are in great shape.
–Bridge, Viaduct the same.
–Side roads may still have spotty problems, though one of our nearest offenders is almost as bare and wet as the nearest arterial.
If you encounter a road problem, please advise (comment, or text/call 206-293-6302) so we can share the news.
In the forecast department – we appear to be in the calm between the storms. We’ve had some flurries today but no real added accumulation. (The sun is even peeking through as we write this.) The chance of snow showers remains in the forecast through the night – maybe good for another inch or so, maybe not. The forecasters are continuing to warn that a BIG round of snow may be on the way for tomorrow night/Wednesday – see the “winter storm watch.”
More to come. And new photos welcome, too – we’ll be creating a spot for them a little later this afternoon. (If you’re looking for our morning/midday coverage – including today’s closures – go here.)
4:53 PM: So far a trouble-free commute by all accounts. And the city is clearly gearing up for tonight and beyond – a de-icer truck just stopped in front of WSB HQ (we ran out with a camera; he says he’s assigned to “high hills and bridges”), while a snowplow headed by on the nearest arterial. Commenters are discussing the situation with school tomorrow; we’ll publish any announcements we get as soon as they come in, private as well as public. Metro just reiterated that it’s on snow routing TFN. No trash pickup today? As noted in our morning report, Seattle Public Utilities had said they would have trouble in “hilly” locations; Waste Management said their crews were running two hours late. We are watching for any school-closure reports for tomorrow – please let us know if you hear of any we haven’t reported. Seattle Public Schools notes that they typically decide by 5:30 am.
5:37 PM: Here’s the Weather Service’s infographic for tonight into tomorrow – we’re in the “1 to 3 inches possible” zone.
5:51 PM: Just out of the inbox, the city’s words of warning:
SEATTLE – With weather forecasts predicting significant accumulations of snow in Seattle, Mayor Mike McGinn urged residents to be prepared for a series of winter storms over the next few days. The National Weather Service predicts lowland areas, including Seattle, could get three to seven inches of snow through Tuesday morning. They are also forecasting the possibility of another six to 12 inches of snow over the lowlands on Wednesday.
“With the possibility of significant snowfall, we are urging residents to be prepared,” said McGinn. “The Seattle Department of Transportation is treating major streets around the clock, our Emergency Operations Center is activated and other city departments are taking readiness steps. The public should get ready as well, making sure they have needed supplies in the event we do get a lot of snow.”
The City of Seattle also recommends that residents:
· Consider options now for travel, staying off the roads if possible.
· Move cars off streets, if possible, to aid with snow removal.
· Check on neighbors, especially the vulnerable.
· Wrap pipes and outdoor faucets to prevent ruptured pipes and flooding inside homes.
· Turn faucets to a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
· Be careful how they choose to heat or light their homes. Open flames and unattended candles are dangerous. Do not bring open stoves or gas grills inside as the fumes can be poisonous and deadly.
· Find and clear street storm drains. Snow followed by rain can clog drains and cause flooding.
· Have coats, hats, gloves and blankets at hand to stay warm during possible power outages.
· Bring pets indoors.
· Only call 911 in a life-threatening emergency.
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.
We have some driving advice, meantime, from WSB sponsors West Seattle Autoworks, via Facebook. Among them: Use lower transmission gears to go downhill more slowly. (Slow driving – slow and steady – can get you through a precarious situation.)
6:43 PM: Looking for today’s fun snow photos? Find them here. (And we’re still adding more.) And as we typed that – snow started falling again.