Stormin’ is the norm; so is staying informed

We can expect the work week to be anything but “normal” as a series of winter storms continue to descend upon the Puget Sound region. Power outages could increase if slushy precipitation freezes, weighing down tree limbs. Travel could become precarious should added moisture turn roads into ice rinks. Some government and business services may be closed or delayed through tomorrow.

Given these conditions, residents are urged to remain at home if you can, check on neighbors who may need support, and be understanding that recovery from “Snowmaggedon2019” will take time. Emergency personnel, including road crews, utility and bus maintenance workers, law enforcement, fire, and others have been working long hours for more than a week to ensure public safety.

Stay informed

Garbage pick-up

  • Some solid waste companies are reporting cancellations to their residential garbage collections. Contact your hauler for updated schedule information. Find the hauler for your community: bit.ly/2X4JcuC
  • The Vashon Recycling and Transfer Station, and the Cedar Falls Drop Box in North Bend are closed. Both facilities are scheduled to be open for service on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Shelters and warming centers
King County and the City of Seattle have teams out around the clock to assist people experiencing homelessness and direct them to shelters or other services. King County has made 300 sleeping spaces available in or near downtown Seattle, and beds are available. These overnight shelters are located at the King County Administration Building, Fourth and Jefferson Building, and Harborview Hall.

The Jefferson Day Center is open daily at Fourth and Jefferson and a temporary warming center is open at the Administration Building through Tuesday, both from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. More than 150 people sought respite from the cold at the day center on Saturday and more than 200 people came indoors during the day on Sunday. For information on shelters around King County, call 2-1-1 or visit Crisis Connections.

Understand the different types of shelters:

  • Warming Centers are locations that provide a respite from the cold.
  • Day Centers are spaces that provide services such as case management, hygiene, etc.. and respite from the cold.
  • Overnight Shelters (often called “Emergency Shelters”) are locations that provide overnight accommodations for people who are homeless.
  • 24/7 Shelters (often called “Enhanced Shelters”) are spaces that provide both overnight accommodations and warmth during the day with access to services.
  • Severe Weather Shelters are locations that provide overnight accommodations for people who are homeless only during severe weather situations (as defined by local jurisdictions).

Public transit 

  • Riders who intend to use King County Metro’s services should visit the Emergency Snow Network webpage to view details about routes in operation and to identify their options. ESN routes will travel on posted snow routes unless otherwise communicated. The Customer Information Office is available at 6 a.m. to assist riders with trip planning, at 206-553-3000.
  • Sound Transit’s Link light rail has been operating its normal schedule and has been offering reliable service.
  • Sound Transit’s Sounder Trains had slight delays early on today, but are back to regularly scheduled service this afternoon.

Public Health centers

Most Public Health Center locations are open today, Monday Feb. 11, 2019. However, some specific clinics are closed. If you are scheduled for an appointment on Monday or want a walk-in appointment, please call in advance to confirm the clinic’s hours. You also may re-schedule your appointment for another day. If you are having trouble reaching a clinic, please call the Public Health Call Center at 206-263-9300.

February 12 Special Election

  • Due to inclement weather, the Accessible Voting Center at Union Station in Seattle will be closed Monday, February 11 and Election Day Tuesday, February 12. Voters can still cast their ballots at the Accessible Voting Center in the King County Elections building in Renton. Voters can also cast a ballot at the Elections Annex in downtown Seattle.
  • Ballot drop boxes that are not located in a jurisdiction with an election are also closed. A list of open drop boxes is available on the King County Elections website.
  • Voters who need a replacement ballot can access one online or contact King County Elections at 206-296-VOTE (8683) for assistance. Ballots must be postmarked by February 12 or returned to a drop box by 8 p.m. Election Day.

Volunteer opportunity

Pets are affected by severe weather too. Anyone interested in volunteering with Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) may attend the next New Volunteer Orientation on March 19 at 4 p.m. Orientations are held at the Pet Adoption Center in Kent. To register or learn more about volunteering, visit kingcounty.gov/RASKCVolunteer.