Snow causes few disruptions for Issaquah residents
December 25, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
Snow crept into forecasts in recent days, but aside from a dusting in higher-elevation neighborhoods and a delay for Issaquah School District students, winter weather did not cause significant disruptions in the area.
In response to slushy conditions on roads and some snowfall overnight, school district administrators delayed the start of school two hours Dec. 18. The day before, as forecasters issued a winter weather advisory for Western Washington, Issaquah and King County road crews prepared for snow.
National Weather Service meteorologists predicted snow for Issaquah overnight from Dec. 17-19, but said residents should expect to see accumulation of 1 inch or less as temperatures dipped into the 30s and the snow level dropped low enough to encompass local neighborhoods. Temperatures started to rise into the 40s by Dec. 19, and the snow turned to rain.
What to know
Learn more about Issaquah winter weather plans, and find snowplow routes at http://bit.ly/Ta4QIm.
The city, county and state Department of Transportation stockpiled salt, sand and anti-icing agents at locations throughout Issaquah and the surrounding area. Crews readied plows and sanders, and crews started to receive road-clearing assignments before Thanksgiving.
Issaquah and King County divide streets into priority levels for snow removal.
City snowplows initially focus on Priority 1 routes — important arteries and access to hillside communities, such as Squak Mountain and the Issaquah Highlands. Crews then address side streets as conditions allow.
City crews toil around the clock in 12-hour shifts to remove snow from the roadway and, if necessary, drop sand and de-icing fluid onto the roadway.
The county also puts crews on 12-hour shifts during significant snowstorms to provide around-the-clock response in unincorporated areas.
The prospect of snow led King County Metro Transit to remind bus riders to plan ahead for getting around during winter weather — especially since many bus route changes recently occurred.
Even minor snow and icy conditions can delay or reroute buses on some of Metro Transit’s 240 routes. The agency offers tools to help riders stay informed during inclement conditions.
Metro Transit buses go to snow routing as necessary, depending on road conditions in a broad geographic area. Planners assign every bus route to at least one of seven geographic areas in King County and riders can check each area’s status.