In Issaquah, power outage, travel headaches continue for another day

January 20, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Rodney Amburgey, a lineman with City Pacific Services contracted to Puget Sound Energy, works Jan. 20 to secure a broken and dangling utility pole crossbeam at Southeast May Valley Road and 231st Place Southeast. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 6:30 a.m. Jan. 20, 2012

Though the forecast calls for temperatures to inch upward Friday, effects from a major snowstorm and rare ice storm continue to impact Issaquah residents.

Puget Sound Energy estimated 11,235 customers remained without power in Issaquah at 6:10 a.m. — a drop from the more than 18,000 left in the dark Thursday. Difficult road conditions continue to challenge motorists on city streets and roads in unincorporated King County.

City road crews continue to focus on maintaining priority routes and removing downed trees from the roadway. Numerous roads in Issaquah and nearby areas closed Thursday due to fallen trees and downed power lines.

Roads across the county remain extremely hazardous, despite predictions for improving weather, county transportation officials said early Friday. Crews closed more than 30 roads countywide, many due to downed trees and tree limbs.

King County Road Services Division crews prepared for another day of plowing and sanding — marking a week of snow and ice operations. Officials said crews hope to gain the upper hand on the difficult conditions by clearing accumulated ice, snow and debris from major roads as the temperature climbs. However, the process to remove fallen trees and tree limbs from roads and road shoulders could last for days.

Most city facilities closed Friday. City Hall is closed, except for essential staff. Julius Boehm Pool and the Issaquah Community Center remain closed, although the community center is open as a 24-hour shelter for people without power. Issaquah Municipal Court is closed, and officials plan to reschedule all planned hearings. People cannot be penalized for failure to appear in court as scheduled Friday.

Allied Waste and Waste Management — garbage haulers for Issaquah and the surrounding area — canceled pickup for Friday due to road conditions.

In addition, Issaquah School District campuses closed for Friday due to the aftermath of the snowstorm and ice storm.

National Weather Service meteorologists said warmer air is gradually expected to move north through Western Washington throughout the morning and afternoon. Temperatures should climb and precipitation should change to rain. In addition, the temperature is expected to remain above freezing Friday night.

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