Closings, cancellations announced because of forecast

December 17, 2008

By Staff

UPDATED — 2:45 a.m. Dec. 17, 2008

Forecasts are predicting snow for Issaquah today.

The city of Issaquah’s Public Works Operations team has pretreated many roads in the city — including those located in the higher elevations and along major routes — with anti-icing material.

Officials are warning drivers to prepare for winter driving conditions.

The city of Issaquah now has a new Web page dedicated to local winter weather information.

The Issaquah Library is open for business today, but library officials are monitoring the weather for possible closure or limited hours, said site manager Philis Bodle.

“We’re concerned about the safety of our staff and our customers, and we’d weigh that when it comes time to closing the library due to snow,” she said.

The last time the library closed was following the windstorm in December 2006 and the snowstorm that hit the region a month later, she said.

Boehm Pool is closing early tonight, at 7 p.m. The usual closing time is 9:30 p.m. In the coming days, it will follow the school district’s schedule.

The community center has cancelled all school district programs. Otherwise, the center is operating normally and will close at the regular time, 9 p.m. This will remain the case until conditions change.

Issaquah Schools are closed due to snow today. Out-of-district transportation is not available. All before and afterschool programs have been cancelled. Go here for more information.

The monthly Fire District 10 Board of Commissioners meeting at 4 p.m. today at EFR Headquarters, 175 Newport Way N.W., is still being held.

The Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council, from 7-9 p.m., at May Valley Alliance Church, 16431 S.E. Renton-Issaquah Road, Renton, is being held, unless it snows.

All recreation programs through the city of Issaquah have been cancelled for Dec. 17. Go here for more information.

Also, these city meetings were cancelled:

The Sustainability Sounding Board meeting at 6 p.m. and Development Commission meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 are cancelled.

The Council Services & Operations meeting at 5 p.m. Dec. 18 has been cancelled.

The Committee of the Whole Council meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 23 has been cancelled.

For further updates, check back here or go to the city’s Web site, as well as tune in to the city’s radio station, 1700 AM.

Temperatures are cold enough to potentially burst outdoor pipes and endanger pets who spend time outside. For tips on how to stay safe during this weather, click here.

Before driving in winter weather, make sure to check your vehicle’s battery, brakes, tires, lights, wipers, oil and radiator fluid/hoses. In addition, pack emergency supplies, including tire chains, in your vehicle. Drivers who get stuck in snow or ice should not abandon their vehicles in an area that would block traffic, as those vehicles will be towed.

In anticipation of the storm, the King County Road Services Division, which has been operating around-the-clock since Saturday, is applying anti-icer to major arterials, bridges and arterials located on steep hills. The division will also remain on 24-hour operations to plow and sand.

King County Metro Transit is also planning on chaining most of its buses for the Wednesday morning commute, so service could be delayed by weather conditions throughout the day — particularly in outlying areas of East and Southeast King County. Depending on the weather, Metro may have to switch to snow routes in some locations with little notice. To check for reroutes due to adverse weather, check Metro Online, or call Metro’s Customer Information Office at 206-553-3000.

The Duty Officer for King County Emergency Management is actively monitoring and coordinating with county departments and our regional partners to address any impacts and support needs that arise as a result of cold weather and snow.

Here are some tips to ease the transition through this week’s cold snap:

Dress warmly and eat right

Make sure you are wearing enough warm clothing before going outdoors. Wind speed can create dangerously cold conditions even when the temperature is not that low.

Wear several layers of loose fitting, light weight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Most of your body heat is lost through your head, so wear a warm, woolen hat. Mittens will keep your hands warmer than gloves.

Be sure to eat regularly. Food provides calories that maintain body heat.

Be careful not to overexert yourself when shoveling snow or other physical activity. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.

Avoid deadly carbon monoxide poisoning

Never use a gas or charcoal grill, hibachi, or portable propane heater to cook indoors or heat your home. Downloadable picture warnings in 13 languages are available online.

Watch out for hypothermia

Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia-slurred speech, confusion, uncontrollable shivering, stumbling, drowsiness and body temperature of 95 degrees or less. Get medical help immediately if you think someone has frostbite or hypothermia.

Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket or warm fluids like hot cider or soup. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages if you expect you or someone you are trying to help has hypothermia or frostbite.

Have and practice a family disaster plan. Your plan should include:

A meeting place within easy walking distance where family members can meet in case you get separated or need to evacuate.

An out of area contact, such as a friend or extended family member, that each of you will call to say you are safe and where you are, so they can share this information with other family members who call.

An emergency supply kit with enough supplies to last a minimum of three days for each member of your family.  Include extra blankets and needed medications.

Additional precautions

Check on elderly friends, family, and neighbors to make sure they are safe.

Watch your footing on surfaces that may be icy and slick, and wear shoes that provide traction.

Cover pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

Prepare for your pets. If you cannot bring them indoors, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure that they have access to unfrozen drinking water.

Preplan alternate transportation routes to and from work and other important destinations.

Have a battery-powered radio and extra batteries on hand to stay informed should you lose power.

Know how to use 9-1-1 responsibly. Only call 9-1-1 if you need immediate emergency assistance from police, fire or emergency medical personnel.

For a checklist of items to include in an emergency supply kit and other helpful information for emergency preparation, go here.

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