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The original item was published from 1/14/2020 8:38:00 PM to 1/16/2020 9:05:00 AM.

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Emergency News

Posted on: January 14, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Updated: Winter Storm Watch for Jan. 14, 2020

Snow is falling in Snohomish County Tuesday evening.

Updated 8:30 p.m.

Snow is here. The snowfall the National Weather Service forecast for Snohomish County on Tuesday evening arrived at the predicted time. Snow is expected to pile up at rates of up to 2 inches an hour as the storm pushes from south to north through the community.  

winter storm watch is in effect through 7 a.m. Wednesday. Expect challenging travel, not only this evening but also during the Wednesday morning commute. 

How much snow is expected? The forecast calls for 4-6 inches across much of the county, with more accumulations out east. Additional damage to trees and power lines is anticipated. Another round of snow is forecast for late Wednesday through Thursday. 

Expect more cold. Tuesday temperatures were in the mid 20s and afternoon highs are expected to be around freezing. Breezy conditions are forecast Wednesday, which could create wind chill temperatures into the single digits in East Snohomish County. 

Prepare for icy commutes. Stay off of the roads if you can. If you must travel, check WSDOT’s Traffic twitter account ( for current conditions on I-5, I-405 and our state highways.  The Sheriff’s Office will be posting local road closures to their twitter account as well ( 

Snohomish County road crews at work. Remember to give snowplows and deicers plenty of room. Allow a minimum following distance of 200 feet from plows and deicers while they work. If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the displaced snow and ice, or sand spray. 

  • Road Maintenance crews have sanded 4,187 miles and plowed 2,300 miles of road since snow began falling on Sunday evening. 

  • Crews have removed trees from 66 locations along county roads. 

  • Crews have used 376 tons of sand, 657 tons of salt and 2,000 gallons of anti-icer since this snow fight began on Sunday evening. 

Snow loading/winds and power lines: The  snow that is forecast to hit the area tonight and tomorrow could be heavy and dense, weighing down trees and branches and causing them to break and fall into power lines and poles. Combined with Wednesday’s wind, that could cause further damage. These repairs can take hours and that doesn’t take into account the hazardous conditions PUD crews will be working in. Please be patient and know that we have crews in the field that are committed to work until every customer is back in power. 

Prepare to be without electricity.  #TeamPUD  crews will continue to restore power to customers as quickly as conditions allow.  The PUD prioritizes outages from big to small, focusing on the higher-voltage transmission level that power substations with large customers like hospitals, schools and businesses. Next, are main circuits from substations that serve neighborhoods and businesses. Finally, smaller outages that serve a handful of homes are addressed. Don’t call 911 if you lose power. Report outages to 425-783-1001 or 

Heat your home safely. Beware carbon monoxide. Never try to heat your home using a gas stove or charcoal grill. Run portable generators in a well-vented outside area.  If your power is out, designate a warmer area in your home as a primary living area, preferably with fewer windows. Dress in layers and, if needed, wear a scarf, gloves and hat. 

Be safe around electricity: Patience can wear thin during a power outage, but it’s never a good idea for customers to try to restore power themselves. Do not approach the power line space on the top of poles and stay at least 30 feet away from any fallen power lines. If you do encounter downed power lines, please report to 425-783-1001. 

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  

Help each other. Keep an eye on your kids and pets if you are outside, especially near any ponds, lakes or rivers. Check on your elderly or home-bound neighbors.  

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: 

Road closure: 

Priority routes: 

Real-time road conditions from WSDOT: 

SnoPUD Outage Map: 

SnoPUD Outage Center: 

The National Weather Service – Seattle: 

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