Region’s blood supply plummets 70 percent due to wintry conditions

January 19, 2012

NEW — 12:30 p.m. Jan. 19, 2012

Puget Sound Blood Center issued a call Thursday for blood and platelet donations after donations plummeted 70 percent due to the snowstorm and icy road conditions stymied donors.

The winter weather caused the cancellation of dozens of blood drives. The total loss of donations is expected to reach more than 2,000 units. Officials said the drop-off is the largest weather-related impact experienced by the Puget Sound Blood Center in many years.

“It takes about 900 donors per day to maintain a sufficient blood supply, but on Wednesday fewer than 150 donors were able to give,” Dr. James P. AuBuchon, Puget Sound Blood Center president and CEO, said in a statement. “But no matter what the weather is, the demand for blood continues: Patients are in hospitals for surgery, ERs are treating traumatic injuries, and people are needing cancer treatments or organ transplants.”

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Local water agency urges conservation for Issaquah customers amid power outage

January 19, 2012

NEW — 11:40 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

Some Issaquah residents should conserve water until further notice, as a local water agency operates on generators due to widespread power outages.

The conservation notice affects residents served by the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District. Officials asked residents to not flush toilets or put water down drains until further notice.

Customers can call the district’s 24-hour emergency line at 392-6256 if they experience pressure or water quality issues.

The district encompasses North Issaquah neighborhoods, including Providence Point, and Klahanie in unincorporated King County. Overall, the district serves 16,300 water customers and 10,100 sewer customers.

The agency’s headquarters in Sammamish is operating on generator power after snow and ice caused outages to more than 180,000 Puget Sound Energy customers across Western Washington.

Customers served by the Issaquah municipal water utility can use water normally.

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Toppled tree kills ATV rider in King County near Issaquah

January 19, 2012

NEW — 10:15 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

King County Sheriff’s Office investigators said a tree toppled on and killed a man near Issaquah on Thursday morning.

The incident occurred at about 9:15 a.m. in the 15300 block of 231st Avenue Southeast as the 60-year-old man backed his all-terrain vehicle out of a shed. The combination of wind and weight from ice and snow caused the tree to topple.

Eastside Fire & Rescue medics responded to the scene, but could not save the still-unidentified man.

(The incident occurred in the May Valley area, about about three miles west of Mirrormont and about four miles south of downtown Issaquah.)

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Downed trees prompt state Route 900, Southeast 56th Street road closures

January 19, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

Downed trees and power lines prompted road closures on state Route 900 in Issaquah and rural King County early Thursday morning.

Crews responded a downed tree and power lines before 7:50 a.m. between Northwest Talus Drive and the southern city limits. The stretch between the access road to the Talus urban village and the city line remains closed as Puget Sound Energy crews tend to the downed tree.

Outside city limits, in rural King County, the state Department of Transportation said state Route 900 is closed at Southeast May Valley Road due to a downed tree.

In Issaquah, Southeast 56th Street from 229th Avenue Southeast to East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast is closed due to downed power lines.

The closures came as ice weighted down trees and power lines, contributing to road closures and power outages throughout the region.

PSE reported more than 12,000 customers in the Issaquah area without power at 9:55 a.m.

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Issaquah residents confront power outages amid icy conditions

January 19, 2012

NEW — 9:15 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

In addition to slick roads and ice-covered trees, some Issaquah residents awoke to power outages Thursday morning.

Puget Sound Energy reported numerous outages in the Issaquah area as the morning progressed, including more than 8,700 customers at 9:10 a.m. (Customers can check PSE’s service map for detailed information.)

Bellevue-based PSE said more than 90,000 customers across Western Washington lost power as a result of a major snowstorm and subsequent ice storm.

If the power goes out, PSE customers can call the utility’s automated phone system at 1-888-225-5773 to report outages and learn about service updates.

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King County road crews report ‘very treacherous’ conditions

January 19, 2012

NEW — 8:30 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

King County Road Services Division crews reported “very treacherous” road conditions Thursday morning due to additional snow and freezing rain on local roadways.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Transportation extended the closure of state Route 18 from Interstate 90 to Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast from the interstate to state Route 164 in Auburn — a 22-mile stretch.

City crews reopened Newport Way Northwest from Northwest Oakcrest Drive to state Route 900 by 8:30 a.m. after a downed tree prompted a closure.

Though city, county and state crews continue efforts to keep major arteries clear for motorists, drivers should expect icy conditions on less-traveled roads. County crews reported problems related to downed trees and limbs from heavy ice accumulations.

More rain or freezing rain is in the forecast for the next several hours, s0 motorists should use extreme caution on local roads. If possible, officials urged people to postpone trips until later in the day after temperatures inch upward.

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Ice poses travel risk; motorists should check conditions before driving

January 19, 2012

NEW — 8:15 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

The state Department of Transportation is urging motorists to use extreme caution due to ice on roadways from freezing rain.

The agency closed state Route 18 between Interstate 90 and Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast shortly after 6 a.m. because ice knocked about two dozen trees onto the roadway. Fallen trees also led to road closures inside Issaquah city limits.

Officials also received reports of downed trees on other Western Washington roadways, prompting some lane and road closures. Elsewhere, the number of spinouts and cars in ditches increases as the morning commute continues.

Drivers should expect added delays and check road status as transportation crews close highways until the threat of falling tree limbs passes.

The ice also caused power outages throughout the region. Puget Sound Energy reported 582 customers in Issaquah without power by 8:10 a.m.

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Downed trees snarl morning commutes in Issaquah area

January 19, 2012

NEW — 7:25 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

Fallen trees caused road closures and traffic headaches early Thursday, as icy conditions caused fresh problems a day after a major snowstorm.

Newport Way Northwest from Northwest Oakcrest Drive to state Route 900 is closed due to a downed tree. State Route 900 from Northwest Talus Drive to the southern city limits is closed due to a downed tree.

Meanwhile, outside Issaquah city limits, state Route 18 is closed in both directions from Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast to Interstate 90 due to multiple fallen trees blocking the lanes.

Puget Sound Energy reported more than 1,200 without power at 7:45 a.m.

Early Thursday, National Weather Service meteorologists issued a regional ice storm warning through noon. Forecasters said to expect travel impacts related to icy conditions, although temperatures should start to rise by midday.

City road crews continue to focus on high-priority routes, as ice poses a different challenge than the snow from previous days.

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Crews continue snow removal on Issaquah streets as flood concern rises

January 19, 2012

NEW — 5 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

City road crews labored throughout the night and morning to remove snow and treat Issaquah streets, as officials and residents prepare for another day of snow-snarled commutes.

Roads remain open and snowplows continue to focus 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.)

Officials canceled all programs at the Issaquah Community Center and Julius Boehm Pool for Thursday. Call 837-3300 or go to the city website for updates on possible drop-in hours.

Expect rain and snow before 10 a.m. Thursday. Temperatures should rise into the upper 30s throughout the day. More rain and snow is expected Thursday night.

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Snow blankets Cougar Mountain Zoo / Jan. 18, 2012

January 18, 2012

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