Transportation returns to normal amid bitter cold

February 25, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 25, 2011

Temperatures dropped into the teens overnight Thursday, and the region is expected to remain in a deep freeze through Sunday morning.

Issaquah road crews worked throughout the night to combat ice on city streets.

King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit buses returned to regular routing. The agencies advised riders to prepare some minor or localized changes, but otherwise the transit system is back to normal.

Expect another bitterly cold night. National Weather Service meteorologists said the temperature in Issaquah should plummet into the teens again late Friday.

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Planners urge Issaquah residents to prepare for snowfall

December 28, 2010

NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 28, 2010

Snowfall is possible in Issaquah in the days ahead, as the mercury dips below freezing.

National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle said the snow level should drop from 1,600 to 900 feet overnight Tuesday. The chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

Issaquah residents at higher elevations on Cougar, Tiger and Squak mountains and Grand Ridge could experience snow accumulation of less than a half-inch.

The chance of snow is 50 percent for Wednesday, and accumulation could reach 1 to 2 inches. The mercury is expected to hover below freezing on Wednesday night, but temperatures should climb above freezing on Thursday.

Issaquah residents can find information about conditions on the city website, emergency information hotline, the city radio station at 1700-AM and on Channel 21, the municipal access channel. Call the emergency information line at 837-3028.

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La Niña conditions can pose winter health risks

December 6, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 6, 2010

Winter does not start until Dec. 21, but recent snowfall and windstorms serve as a reminder for residents to prepare for a safe and healthy winter.

Forecasters predict a colder and wetter winter than normal for the Pacific Northwest due to La Niña conditions. Ocean temperatures near the equator indicate a La Niña winter is in the offing.

Increased precipitation and snowmelt could mean flooding in the Issaquah area.

Flooding due to heavy rains and melting snow can make well water unsafe to drink, because floodwaters carry diseases and other contaminants. If a well has flooded, assume the drinking water in a home is contaminated.

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Issaquah on ice: Snowstorm snarls traffic, prompts school closures

November 30, 2010

Ryder Marin, 9, of Issaquah, starts to spill after becoming airborne on the Issaquah Community Center hillside Nov. 23. ‘All the snow comes straight up in my face and I can’t see very well,’ he said. By Tim Pfarr

The nightmare occurred long before Christmas — and before Thanksgiving.

Issaquah and the Puget Sound region slid to a halt during a fall snowstorm Nov. 22. The storm snarled commutes for Issaquah residents and prompted road crews to toil through Thanksgiving to clear streets. The poor conditions interrupted the regional transit system and left riders huddled in bus shelters. The fallout sent shoppers scrambling to stores for emergency supplies and Thanksgiving staples.

The mercury dipped into the teens and 20s — record cold temperatures — in the days after the storm and turned roads icy.

“People were very understanding of the situation,” Issaquah Police Patrol Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said. “I think a lot of people were just trying to get home Monday night.”

Some motorists abandoned vehicles and turned road shoulders along Highlands Drive Northeast, Newport Way Northwest and Southeast Black Nugget Road into impromptu parking lots. Police impounded more than 30 vehicles in travel lanes as conditions deteriorated Nov. 22.

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Hypothermia claims Issaquah-area man

November 30, 2010

The recent cold has claimed the life of a 66-year-old Issaquah-area man.

James R. Furseth died Nov. 20 in Issaquah from hypothermia, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office reported last week. Temperatures in the Issaquah area dipped to near freezing on the day Furseth died.

The medical examiner’s office said Furseth died in a trailer near rural Southeast May Valley Road.

Hypothermia occurs after a person’s body temperature has dropped significantly below normal due to inadequate protection against cold.

Temperatures in recent days dipped into the 20s and teens as a fall snowstorm swept into the region.

The cold also claimed a 76-year-old Redmond man, Jerry M. Fitzgerald. Officials said Fitzgerald died from hypothermia Nov. 19.

King County medical examiner: Issaquah-area man dies from hypothermia

November 25, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 25, 2010

The recent cold has claimed the life of a 66-year-old Issaquah-area man.

James R. Furseth died Nov. 20 in Issaquah from hypothermia due to exposure to the cold, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office reported. Temperatures in the Issaquah area dipped to near freezing on the day Furseth died.

The cold also claimed a 76-year-old Redmond man, Jerry M. Fitzgerald. Officials said Fitzgerald died from hypothermia Nov. 19.

The medical examiner’s office had no further details about the men Thursday morning.

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Bitter cold raises risk of carbon monoxide poisoning

November 24, 2010

NEW — 8:30 p.m. Nov. 24, 2010

The forecast calls for temperatures in Issaquah to reach the mid-20s overnight.

Though the region continues to recover from the Monday snowstorm, National Weather Service meteorologists predict temperatures to remain below freezing until Thursday.

The risk of injury or death from carbon monoxide poisoning increases as the temperature falls. Carbon monoxide poisoning can strike suddenly and without warning.

In some cases, physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include severe headache, nausea and vomiting, and lethargy and fatigue. Head outside for fresh air immediately and call for medical help from a mobile phone or a neighbor’s home if carbon monoxide poisoning occurs.

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Buses operate on reduced schedules for Thanksgiving

November 24, 2010

NEW — 8 p.m. Nov. 24, 2010

National Weather Service meteorologists predict up to another inch of snow in King County for Thanksgiving morning.

So, King County Metro Transit continues to operate on snow routes — and a Sunday schedule — for the holiday. Metro plans to ease back to regular operations as ice melts and roadways return to normal.

Riders should check the color-coded map on  for the most current status of Metro service before traveling.

Sound Transit buses operate on special holiday hours Thursday. Regular weekday service for all Sound Transit buses and trains resumes Friday.

Riders should check the Sound Transit website for potential service changes in response to winter weather conditions.

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Crews plan to monitor local roads for ice on Thanksgiving

November 24, 2010

NEW — 6:45 p.m. Nov. 24, 2010

King County crews plan to work on Thanksgiving to clear ice and compacted snow from high-priority roads in rural and unincorporated areas.

Issaquah public works crews plowed and sanded all of the snow-priority routes in the city. Find the snow priority map here.

The city has not closed any roads as a result of the Monday snowstorm.

The forecast calls for temperatures to climb after Thursday, but Road Services Division employees plan to monitor conditions in case ice forms on roads again.

Motorists planning to travel in the county during the holiday weekend, should check the latest weather forecasts and be prepared for winter driving conditions.

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Road crews clear streets as cold raises ice concerns

November 23, 2010

UPDATED — 9:45 p.m. Nov. 23, 2010

Issaquah and King County crews continue around-the-clock shifts to clear snow and ice from roads.

City crews had plowed and sanded all of the snow-priority routes by Tuesday night. Find the city snow priority map here.

Tuesday also marked the second full day of around-the-clock shifts for King County Road Services Divisions crews in unincorporated areas.

But road officials raised concerns about temperatures plummeting into the teens and below Tuesday night — and ice forming on roads anew.
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