Cleanup continues from snowstorm; another wintry blast on the way?

Courtesy NWS, click to enlarge

Sunny skies prevailed over King County today after a winter storm dumped several inches of snow on the region Monday. However, temperatures still hovered right around freezing, which means another chilly night tonight. Any snow or ice that melted will refreeze overnight. In addition, the National Weather Service in Seattle is forecasting at least a chance of some additional snow Friday into Saturday. Stay tuned to the latest forecast at weather.gov/seattle.

King County agencies will operate on a normal weekday schedule on Wednesday, with the exceptions noted below.

King County Metro Transit is getting back to normal operations, but some buses in outlying parts of the service area will remain on snow routes for the Tuesday evening commute. Routes will return to normal operations as roadway conditions improve. Stay up to date by signing up for transit alerts and reviewing snow route information at MetroWinter.com and by following @kcmetrobus on Twitter.

King County Roads crews have been working throughout the day to plow and treat roads in their service area. Arterials are in good shape, and crews are working on secondary roads. However, with the melting that took place today, many areas could refreeze tonight, so drivers should still exercise caution. Find real-time maps, traffic cameras, and road alerts at kingcounty.gov/MyCommute and follow @kcroads on Twitter. You can also check WSDOT’s website or SeattleTraffic.org.

Additional sleeping space for people experiencing homelessness will be available again on Tuesday and Wednesday night at the King County Administration Building. Last night, more than 200 people took refuge in the county’s shelters at Administration, Harborview Hall, and the Fourth and Jefferson Building. After the shelters close, the day center at Fourth and Jefferson is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with services. Call 2-1-1 for a list of all shelters serving the homeless population in the region.

The slick roads have forced some trash haulers to delay or cancel service this week. Check with your service provider for collection updates. If you don’t know who your hauler is, King County Solid Waste Division has a list here. SWD is also working to open the Cedar Falls Drop Box in time for regular service on Wednesday. Check the SWD website for updates.

King County Parks has closed the Weyerhaeuser-King County Aquatic Center for Tuesday. The facility will not open again until Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Also, the White Center Teen Program has been canceled for Tuesday evening. Finally, many parks and trailheads in the region are still closed by the snow. Follow @IHeartKCParks on Twitter for updates.

With the chance of another round of snow this weekend, King County Emergency Management is reminding residents to take steps now to prepare your family, pets, and property.

Family

  • Review your family emergency and communication plans.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food and water for your home, and locate flashlights and batteries in case the power goes out.
  • Make sure your car has a well-stocked emergency kit, including chains, shovel, flashlight, blankets, ice scraper, gloves, sturdy boots, and extra warm clothing.
  • Keep the fuel tank at least half full.
  • Replace your windshield wiper blades if they’re worn.
  • Inspect your vehicle’s tires for uneven wear or deterioration and replace them if necessary. Check for proper air pressure.

Pets

  • During cold, wet weather, keep pets inside or limit the time that they stay outside.
  • Provide outdoor pets with a dry, warm, secure shelter out of the wind, such as a garage, barn, or insulated pet house.
  • Groom your pets. Pets need well-groomed coats to keep them properly insulated.

Property

  • Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic. These exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing.
  • Wrap outdoor pipes and faucets to keep them from freezing.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and, if practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
  • Before you leave town, set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55°F (12°C).

Download winter weather preparedness checklists at TakeWinterByStorm.org.