Crews used more than 600 tons of sand during snowstorm

December 7, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

By Greg Farrar Chip Lauterbach, city maintenance worker, sweeps up sand with his Elgin Broom Bear on Northwest Lac Leman Drive in the Montreux neighborhood Dec. 3 after the Nov. 22 snowstorm.

City road crews used more than 600 tons of sand to keep Issaquah streets passable during the recent fall snowstorm.

The sand has replaced snow along road medians and shoulders a week after snow blanketed the Puget Sound region.

Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said crews plan to sweep and collect the sand throughout December. The department then screens debris from the grit and plans to use the sand again if road conditions deteriorate.

“We recycle as much of it as we can,” Heath said. “We’ll pick it up, store it, screen it and reuse it, either for sandbags or for sanding again.”

The city Public Works Operations Department deployed sanders and snowplows as snowflakes started to fall Nov. 22.

Crews applied sand sprayed with a de-icing fluid — calcium chloride with a modifier added to reduce corrosion — to Issaquah roadways.

Beyond city limits, the King County Road Services Division laid down 4,000 cubic yards of sand and about 5,000 gallons of de-icer on roadways in rural and unincorporated areas. County crews also plowed 8,165 lane miles of road during the storm and in subsequent days.

Heath reminded motorists to pull aside for snowplows. Drivers should pay attention to their rearview mirrors for the trucks’ yellow strobe lights.

“One thing that would help, if people would move over when they see a plow coming,” Heath said. “Then, we could get the plow on the road, and then we could get people going again and it makes the whole situation clear out quicker.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

On the Web

  • In addition to a winter weather-centric website, the city also maintains a radio station, 1700-AM, and emergency phone line, 837-3028, to provide frequent winter storm updates.
  • Find information about road closures and King County snow-response plans at the county Road Services Division website.
  • King County and other regional partners urge residents to Take Winter By Storm through a series of inclement weather-preparedness tips, information and resources. Learn more at the Take Winter By Storm website.
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