The National Weather Service says to prepare for snow and bitter cold in Snohomish County, staring Sunday (Jan. 12) and continuing through the week.
What’s coming? Snow is expected to begin arriving Sunday afternoon in Snohomish County and continue through Monday morning. The snow will be followed by subfreezing temperatures, at least into mid week. More snow is possible Wednesday afternoon through Thursday, but details are still uncertain.
How much snow is expected? That will depend on location, forecasters say. Much of the county can expect 3 to 4 inches by Monday morning, but accumulations of 6 inches or more are possible in Monroe and other points east. In addition, there is a potential for a convergence zone developing over the county, which may mean more snowfall in affected areas. Stay tuned.
Prepare for challenging commutes Monday. The snow will be falling on wet roads and temperatures are expected to drop below freezing and stay that way. Check weather forecasts and road condition reports before heading out. Give yourself extra time. Slow down. Remember that four-wheel drive does not mean four-wheel stop.
Snohomish County road crews ready. County public works crews will be on 12-hour shifts during the snow event to plow and apply sand on unincorporated-area roads. The public works department is prepared with resources, including 23,000 gallons of liquid deicer, 9,500 tons of sand, 5,500 tons of sand mixed with salt, 925 tons of salt, 46 plow/sander trucks in a variety of configurations to suit rural and urban conditions, four all-wheel drive motor graders, and two liquid deicer application trucks. A procurement of a variety of plow blades from rubber and ceramic to steel are available as conditions warrant.
Room to work. Give snowplows and deicers plenty of room to work. Allow for a minimum following distance of 200 feet. If you must pass, use extreme caution and beware of the displaced snow and ice, or sand spray. Vehicles parked along all major arterials and emergency routes must be moved off the street.
Park your car. Snohomish County Public Works and WSDOT crews will work to keep primary routes open, but the fewer drivers on the road the better. Check for road closures on the Snohomish County Road Closure Information website. View the map where Snohomish County’s priority snow and ice removal routes are located.
Prepare to be without electricity. Blustery winds are expected, which may lead to power outages. Update your emergency kit with food, water, flashlight and blankets. Also make sure cell phones are charged. Don’t call 911 if you lose power. Report outages to 425-783-1001 or outagemap.snopud.com.
Heat your home safely. If your home loses power, do not try to heat it using a charcoal or gas grill, gas range or gas oven. If you heat your home in an unsafe manner, you could expose you and your family to carbon monoxide – a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled. Carbon monoxide builds up quickly in enclosed spaces and can kill a person in minutes. Do not burn charcoal in a fireplace. Charcoal fire does not create a strong enough draft for the carbon monoxide to exit through the chimney.
Need a place to stay? With below-freezing temperatures forecast this week, we expect an increased demand for cold weather shelter. Multiple locations in Snohomish County provide overnight shelter when temperatures are below 32 degrees F. Coordinators and volunteers work hard to meet the need in the community, but space is limited. If you are in need of shelter, please call 211 or call ahead to a cold weather shelter. Additional information, including a list of local shelters indicating which are open, is available at www.snohd.org/cold.
Help each other. Protect your pets from the cold. Check on elderly neighbors and those with special needs. They may need your help. When each of us is prepared, our whole community is prepared.
Stay safe. If you must go out. Talk over your travel plans with others in your home, even if the trip is just a few miles. Be sure to wear extra layers of outerwear if you will be outside for any length of time (jackets, hats, gloves, extra socks, etc.)
Social Media Accounts to Follow for Updates:
Other Winter Storm Resources:
Snow and Ice Response: https://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/2113/Snow-and-Ice-Response
Road closure: http://www.snoco.org/App4/SPW/PWApp/roads/emclosure/index.html
Priority routes: http://www.snoco.org/App4/SPW/PublicWorks/RoadMaint/snowIcePlanRouteMap.html
Real-time road conditions from WSDOT: https://www.wsdot.com/traffic/
SnoPUD Outage Map: outagemap.snopud.com
The National Weather Service – Seattle: https://www.weather.gov/sew/