Issaquah, King County road crews prep for snowfall

November 20, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 5 p.m. Nov. 20, 2010

Snow could dust the Issaquah area Sunday.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle forecast a 40 percent chance of snow showers during the day Sunday, plus a 50 percent chance of snow showers Sunday night and Monday. The forecast calls for accumulation of less than a half-inch, and low temperatures in the 20s.

The outlook has prompted the Issaquah Public Works Operations Department and the King County Road Services Division to ready snow equipment to mobilize if the conditions require roads to be plowed and sanded.

Motorists traveling on roads at higher elevations and on plateau areas could see snow showers earlier than lowland residents. Drivers in the Issaquah area could encounter snow almost anywhere after the mercury drops Sunday.

If snow does materialize, the city public works department and county Road Services Division start to dispatch crews to plow and sand slushy roadways. Crews may also apply a deicer to major arterial streets and bridges.

Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said the department stages equipment along major roadways if snow seems to be a certainty.

“We’re not going to be able to keep snow off of the main route, but what we are going to try and do is keep the main route sanded so that it’s passable,” he said.

Officials encourage drivers to monitor the latest weather forecasts and prepare for winter driving conditions.

Motorists should also pay special attention to bridges and overpasses, because both can be more prone to freeze during late night and early morning hours. So, drivers should be on the lookout for black ice, as well as snow.

The city maintains a winter weather website with information and access to resources, road priority maps and more.

Call 206-296-8100 to report problems on roads in unincorporated King County.

City and King County emergency planners offer tips for drivers in snowy conditions:

  • Never drive around road-closure signs.
  • Allow ample time to reach your destination.
  • Equip your vehicle with all-season tires and carry tire chains.
  • If you must abandon your vehicle, park clear of travel lanes to allow snow equipment to pass. (The city tows vehicles left abandoned in travel lanes.)
  • Dress for the weather in case you become stranded and have to walk.
  • Use caution and maintain several car lengths’ distance behind a snowplow or sander.
  • Warn children about the dangers of sledding on hilly streets.
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