Seattle’s First Snow of the Year Creates Havoc
Seattle has been facing spinouts, power outages and flight delays, but the condition is not going to be better anytime soon. More snow and icy conditions are expected in Seattle for a few days more.
Another snow band was scheduled to move through Seattle between 2 and 4 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The band was scheduled to deliver only trace amounts of snow, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle. Burg added anything on the ground is expected to stick around.
“Any melting that has occurred — it’s just going to refreeze tonight,” Burg said, pointing to expected lows in the 20s for Seattle Monday night. This pattern is likely to continue for the next couple of days with the possibility of black ice, Burg said. The National Weather Service is advising people to give more time while commuting and drive as slow as possible.
Most of the schools around the Puget Sound area have delayed or canceled classes due to snow in King, Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish counties. Almost 10000 Seattle City light customers are now without electricity with the largest failures reported in White Center, Burien, and Shoreline, according to the utility company.
On Monday the Sea-Tac International Airport there were 62 canceled flights and 124 delayed flights, according to Flight Aware, which tracks airport flight information.
As per the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the weather sparked implementation of a Traffic Management Program for flights arriving at the Seattle airport.
“This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 2 hours and 36 minutes,” the FAA said on its website. “To see if you may be affected, select your departure airport and check ‘Delays by Destination.’”
All state ferry routes are operating as usual, but the weather has wreaked some havoc on the system. Rough waves reportedly shattered a window on one vessel traveling the Edmonds-Kingston route. Elevators on another boat were out of service, restrooms were out of service as well as the Port Townsend terminal because of frozen pipes, and some terminals were operating on generators because of power outages, according to Washington State Ferries.
Riders are advised to check on the state ferries website for information on delays.
And, the opening day of Highway 99 also saw temperatures below freezing level.
All the public schools in Seattle, Lake Washington, Kent, Federal Way, Bellevue, Highline, Shoreline, Renton, Vashon, Bellingham, Port Townsend, and Tacoma are closed today.
The information about schools is available on the district website.
The situation in the universities is also the same. Universities are canceling classes. The University of Washington closed its Seattle and Bothell campuses Monday, while the Tacoma campus remained open. Seattle Colleges also closed its campuses.
Seattle University was scheduled to open at 11 a.m. but finally canceled classes due to snow. Seattle Pacific University’s offices are scheduled to open at 10 a.m., and classes are delayed until 11 a.m.
Snow started to fall in earnest on Sunday as many were sitting to watch the super bowl. It made road conditions pathetic. Washington State Patrol reported numerous spinouts on Interstate 5 near the Skagit-Snohomish county line.
As per forecasters, on Sunday the showery nature of the storm was likely to bring varied accumulations, with some areas receiving as little as half an inch of snow. The Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet were placed under a winter storm watch. According to NWS, accumulations are expected to reach between 1 inch and 4 inches.
Drivers of five vehicles slid into a pileup Monday morning as icy roads made it difficult to stop in Queen Anne. Tyler Hale, a delivery driver for Northwest Coffee Supply, was there to witness the cases.
As per him, his vehicle was the first one to slide back down the hill, and then several other vehicles started sliding into his vehicle. Finally, a pile of vehicles was created. He said no one is injured. He added it was unclear when snow plows would make it to the area, and tow trucks wouldn’t come for fear of getting stuck.
Instead, the driver left their vehicles on the road and searched for warmth. And nearby residents are offering the drivers coffee. Hale said, “There are still good people in the world when something like this happens.”