Motorists encounter fallen trees on local, regional roads

January 19, 2012

State Route 900 remains barricaded at midafternoon Jan. 20 to motorists wanting to go southbound past Northwest Talus Drive, a day after a downed tree blocked access to the urban village. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 1:15 p.m. Jan. 19, 2012

State transportation officials said the ice after a major snowstorm continues to create difficult driving conditions throughout the region.

Department of Transportation planners said frigid temperatures should continue to cause harsh conditions throughout Thursday.

“We had our crews out all night de-icing the roads. We threw everything we had at this storm — sand, de-icer, salt and plows,” Regional Maintenance Manager Dave McCormick said. “It’s so widespread that it’s been very difficult to keep up.”

State Route 900 is closed at Southeast May Valley Road. State Route 18 remains closed from Auburn Way and Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast due to multiple downed trees for several miles. State Route 202 is closed between Fall City and Snoqualmie due to downed trees. The roads should remain closed for several hours.

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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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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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King County Metro Transit remains on snow routes for Thursday

January 18, 2012

NEW — 8 p.m. Jan. 18, 2012

Expect King County Metro Transit buses to remain chained up and on snow routes Thursday, as the Puget Sound region recovers from a significant snowstorm.

Officials said transit operating conditions could change throughout the day, and recommended for bus riders to check for updates from Metro Transit. Depending on roads and traffic conditions, bus service is expected to significantly disrupted and delayed Thursday.

Metro Transit plans to operate the same level of service as Wednesday, with up to 30 routes canceled Thursday. If travel conditions improve overnight, service on the affected routes could be restored either early or during the day. So, before traveling, riders should check for the most current status of Metro Transit service.

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King County crews encounter headaches as snowstorm barrels across region

January 18, 2012

NEW — 2:45 p.m. Jan. 18, 2012

The snowstorm pummeling the Puget Sound region is causing transportation headaches across King County, officials said Wednesday afternoon as road crews attempted to keep major arteries open to traffic.

Officials said no county road is escaping the impact of the latest winter storm.

County Road Services Division crews reported hazardous driving conditions along and several road closures across the region. The county focused mostly on plowing and sanding along the major roadways throughout the county, such as Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast.

Countywide, about 150 field staffers continue to work 12-hour shifts to support 24-hour operations. That around-the-clock schedule is due to continue until conditions improve.

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

January 18, 2012

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.

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Snowplow crews toil day and night to clear Issaquah streets

January 18, 2012

Kyle Patterson, a city snowplow driver, maneuvers through the Montreux neighborhood to remove snow from streets Tuesday afternoon. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 18, 2012

Come winter, the nonstop struggle between man and Mother Nature unfolds in a teeth-rattling ride aboard city snowplows.

Snow, split into quarters from tire tracks, clung to the streets late Tuesday afternoon in Montreux, a tony neighborhood on Cougar Mountain named for a city in the Swiss Alps. In methodical maneuvers, city snowplow driver Kyle Patterson edged back and forth along cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac, pushing snow from the roadway to form dirt-flecked berms along the street.

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Motorists should use caution in snow, stay home if possible

January 18, 2012

NEW — 5:30 a.m. Jan. 18, 2012

State transportation officials urged residents to use caution or stay off roads entirely Wednesday as snow coated local arteries, although predictions for a historic snowstorm diminished.

Still, weather conditions left roads treacherous, and the state Department of Transportation reminded motorists to prepare for hazardous conditions on interstate highways and secondary roads, and possible impassible conditions on outlying roadways.

The agency also encouraged people to avoid driving if possible.

“I can’t emphasize enough to people the importance of gathering information available on weather forecasts and road conditions to make the best decision before venturing out,” Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said in a statement released Tuesday, as crews braced for a major snowstorm. “Our crews will be out there plowing and treating the roads, but we need drivers to do their part and prepare for really challenging travel conditions.”

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