Roads remain open as snow covers Issaquah, more lingers in forecast

January 18, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Snow blankets downtown Issaquah on Wednesday morning as a King County Metro Transit bus heads north along Front Street South. By Kathleen R. Merrill

NEW — 9:15 a.m. Jan. 18, 2012

Snowfall greeted Issaquah residents Wednesday morning, as a less-severe-than-predicted snowstorm still left deep snow in local neighborhoods, especially areas at higher elevations.

City road crews continue to remove snow on a 24-hour basis, and all city streets remain open to traffic. Snowplows remain focused on Priority 1 routes — important arteries and access to hillside communities. Crews intend to address side streets as conditions allow. (Officials divide streets into priority levels for snow removal.)

Issaquah residents reported 3 to 6 inches throughout the area early Wednesday morning. Residents can expect a similar amount of snowfall to continue throughout the day.

Brent Bower, a National Weather Service senior hydrologist in Seattle, said the snowstorm is substantial, even if predictions of a “mega-storm” in the days preceding the event did not come to fruition.

“It was going to be big,” he said Wednesday morning. “We’ve had reports, some people have already had 16 inches” in the South Puget Sound region.

Olympia and other communities to the south bore the brunt of the snowstorm.

“The storm kept changing course and ended up going a little bit further south,” Bower said. “It didn’t take much, but it was enough to make it a lot lighter snow rate up here, and it looks like it’s going to shorten the duration, too.”

Still, city officials urged residents to prepare for winter driving conditions — even on treated roads — and to check the municipal traffic camera network before heading out onto roads.

If drivers must abandon vehicles along Issaquah streets, park clear of travel lanes to allow snow equipment to pass. (The city tows vehicles left abandoned in travel lanes. Call the Issaquah Police Department nonemergency line, 837-3200, to locate vehicles after a snowstorm.)

Expect snowfall to continue throughout Wednesday and additional snow showers to occur Thursday. Rain is in the forecast for Friday — and officials raised concerns about possible flooding in Issaquah as snow melts and rain falls.

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