West Seattle, Washington
So far we have word from this area’s two major public-school districts about their Thursday plans:
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Starting on time Thursday, buses on snow routes, plus:
There will be no preschool or Head Start classes, and no door-to-door, midday or out-of-district transportation services. No before- and after-school activities. Check with your school regarding athletic events. Check with your child care provider about child care.
HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Starting on time Thursday, buses using alternate stops (as listed here).
Any other school changes? Text/call our hotline, 206-293-6302, or email email@example.com – thank you!
ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:44 PM WEDNESDAY: The National Weather Service has now issued an official alert for the next round of expected snow, Friday-Saturday – which might be just the first round! See the Special Weather Statement in its entirety here. It includes:
… This system will bring a round of widespread lowland snow and strong northeast outflow winds from the Fraser River Valley. Expected impacts with this system include: Cold temperatures, snow-covered roads, strong outflow winds and blowing snow for portions of the area.
Precipitation will spread from the north to the south beginning Friday morning. Temperatures will be cold enough for snow Friday from Everett northward, with a rain/snow mix south of Everett. Precipitation will transition to snow over the remainder of the interior as the cold outflow from the Fraser River Valley works through the remainder of the interior by late Friday night.
Variable snowfall totals are expected, with snow peaking early Saturday morning. The most likely snow accumulations include 3-4″ over most of the lowlands, with heavier amounts possible for the Hood Canal area, the north Olympic Peninsula, and the north interior including the San Juan Islands. Cold ground temperatures over the lowlands may enhance initial accumulations. …
Weather analyst Cliff Mass sees the potential for up to 8″ around the Sound – here’s his take, including even more snow likely Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, concluding:
SDOT, WSDOT, and other local departments of transportation need to get prepared for perhaps the snowiest period since the large snowfall of December 1996, when Seattle received 21 inches.
But tomorrow is expected to be snowless, so now’s the time to start getting ready!
THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: Still looking snowless today – the upgraded Winter Storm Watch alert kicks in at noon Friday.
Today was the first real test of the Highway 99 tunnel in traffic. If you weren’t among those using it – above is the next best thing, Jamie Kinney‘s dashcam video from the northbound morning commute. Below, a “live” look inside the south end of the northbound deck:
One big question remains for West Seattleites: When will that exit ramp to the south end of downtown open, so people headed northbound from here can use 99 without having to go through the tunnel? Dating back to last summer, WSDOT warned it would take up to two weeks beyond the tunnel opening to finish that ramp. Optimistic projections more recently were that it could be as little as one week – but then came the snow. We checked in today with WSDOT’s Highway 99 project spokesperson Laura Newborn, who says, “Weather definitely put the work behind on the NB off ramp Monday and Tuesday. The contractor is working today, but the bad weather could cause challenges for the crew.” And, of course, as the weather experts are warning, it’s likely not over yet. One other thing about NB 99 came up in a comment discussion today: The NB bus lane south of the tunnel. It was cut short a while back so that crews could repair a “dip” and has not been fully restored yet, but Newborn says it will extend to, and onto, the new Dearborn/Alaskan Way exit ramp, and then after the Metro routing “interim” time of up to 1 year, will also extend onto the new Alaskan Way. (The 4th Avenue temporary bus lane on the eastbound West Seattle Bridge, meantime, will be removed once buses stop using that ramp, SDOT has reiterated – again, waiting on that NB 99 exit ramp.)
Eight months after we first reported that The Habit Burger Grill would take over the former KFC location at 35th and Avalon, a banner has appeared. The remodeling work at the site has been under way for three months. No official word yet on plans for opening but with the banner up and paper off the windows, it is clearly getting closer. Habit Burger is a California-based chain with more than 240 locations.
We can attest to Waste Management trucks being back out in West Seattle neighborhoods today – we saw that one in Upper Fauntleroy, and another on Avalon just north of Luna Park. Seattle Public Utilities said again today that their plan is to pick up on a day-delayed basis for the rest of the week, and Monday customers can put out double next Monday. So, a few Monday customers asked us, what about recycling, since that otherwise wouldn’t be picked up again until February 18th – will they send recycling trucks around next Monday? We took the question to SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register, who replied:
SPU will attempt to collect the missed recycling from Feb 4 on Monday Feb 11. However, this requires substantial extra trucks and drivers for this unscheduled recycle pickup, so we can’t guarantee we will collect it all. And then additional snow on Friday could, unfortunately, impact access on Monday.
If you weren’t around for the long-running snow event in 2008 – that one led to enough problems, there were even City Council hearings.
First, the request, since we’re still in wintry weather and more is expected: If you cancel/postpone an event, please let us know – even if it’s not on our calendar! – so we can help get the word out. Tens of thousands of West Seattleites are checking WSB for weather-related information, as it’s a central, visible-to-all, no-membership-required hub. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call our 24/7 hotline – 206-293-6302 – thanks!
Now, from our calendar (where you’ll find the full list), three notes for today/tonight:
LUNAR NEW YEAR @ HIAWATHA: 2:30 pm tweens/teens party at Hiawatha Community Center. (2700 California SW)
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: 6:30 pm, upstairs at the Senior Center/Sisson Building. Scheduled guests are Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold; see the agenda here. All welcome. (4217 SW Oregon)
TRIANGULAR JAZZTET: 7 pm at Whisky West (WSB sponsor), no cover. 21+. (6451 California SW)
We’ve published West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports before about gym-locker thefts. This one, reported by Linh, led to the theft of her car:
Be on the lookout for a silver 2007 Lexus RX. license #AOE7002, that was taken last night between 7 pm-9 pm at the gym [LA Fitness]. They got into my locker in the women’s locker room. Took my gym bag including my car keys inside. It was a nylon black North Face tote. I always carry it with me with my clothes. … Hopefully someone saw something last night in the parking garage or has any information. Thank you.
If you see the car, call 911.
(WEDNESDAY SCHOOL INFO: Some delays, ALL LISTED HERE)
5:31 AM: Good morning. A little warmer – 21 degrees. Today’s still forecast as dry, with the next snow still projected for Friday/Saturday.
The reroute page shows West Seattle buses back on normal routes
Early alerts were sent for:
Route 37 cancellations (all morning trips)
Route 55 cancellations (6:31 am, 6:48 am & 7:30 am)
Route 113 cancellation (7:34 am)
Route 116 cancellations (6:33 am, 7:13 am & 8:00 am)
CITY WINTER-WEATHER-RESPONSE MAP: See where SDOT’s been in recent hours.
6:07 AM: Closed for hazardous conditions, according to the city traffic map (let us know if you find otherwise – these are all time-stamped early this morning) – Genesee at Avalon, Ferry SW and California Way in North Admiral, Lander at Admiral, Charlestown at 55th and at 46th … Overall, as Alex warns in a note, beware of icy side streets too.
6:49 AM: Not far away, a crash has closed all NB lanes of Airport Way at Corson.
6:52 AM: SPU has confirmed, SOLID WASTE PICKUP RESUMES today, one-day delay except for Monday customers, who can put out double next Monday.
7:25 AM: Airport Way is clear. … Looking at the bridge, traffic still appears lighter than usual.
7:52 AM: Low bridge just reopened to drivers/riders/pedestrians after first marine-traffic closure of the morning.
8:50 AM: Checking the video cameras, the eastbound high bridge and northbound 99 both are stop-and-go. Looks like the backup extends into the tunnel (see the south view of the NB tunnel here).
9:43 AM: Note that a few other road closures due to icy conditions are noted on the city map – 20th/Trenton and California/Othello. We don’t have firsthand verification, so if you happen to find any of these open, please advise – thanks!
(Updated 7:19 am)
Seattle Public Schools – 2 hours late, buses on snow routes
Highline Public Schools – 2 hours late
Holy Rosary – 2 hours late
Our Lady of Guadalupe – 2 hours late
Vashon Island SD – 2.5 hours late
Westside School, 9:45 am start
South Seattle College – 10 am start
Explorer West Middle School – 10 am start
(added) Little Pilgrim School – AM classes and Parent Teacher Conferences cancelled today
Both Seattle Lutheran HS and Hope Lutheran planned to open at regular time.
Any additions/changes, please text/call our hotline, 206-293-6302