Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Heavy snowfall hits Redmond, Puget Sound

Mother Nature has dumped a ton of snow on Redmond and Puget Sound tonight, and almost all of the roadways here in town have frozen over.

A thick coat of slick ice has made driving extremely difficult for those without chains, traction tires, or studded tires.

If you are north of the Bellevue city limits - picture an imaginary line running west to east from the shoreline of Puget Sound (in Seattle) into the mountains - chances are you're snowed under by at least several inches.

Here in NPI's home neighborhood it's at least five inches deep. The snow is piling on top of the ice on the roads, creating extremely hazardous conditions. In some areas it is still, in fact, snowing at this hour.

South of that imaginary line, there's plenty of snow and ice but it appears to be more scattered. The winter weather has created driving havoc on almost every highway in the area. Some areas have as much as two feet of snow.

A summary of some of the major developments:
  • Thousands of residents are now without power due to the storm
  • State Route 522 is closed due to heavy snow
  • Driving conditions over the mountain passes are miserable
  • The Monday night football game at Qwest featured a wintery white field
  • Chains are advised if you're venturing out tomorrow morning
  • A significant number of school districts and colleges are closed
  • All eastbound lanes of SR 16 are blocked by a nasty collision
A snow advisory is in effect for the region until 5 AM tomorrow morning. According to AccuWeather, Pacific Northwest Portal's official meteorology partner, here's the forecast tomorrow:
Tonight: A couple of flurries this evening; otherwise, mostly cloudy and cold. Winds will be light and variable (Low 25 °, RealFeel®, 27 °Fahrenheit)

Tomorrow: Very cold with times of clouds and sun. Winds will be light and variable. High: 33 °F Realfeel®: 34 °F

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy and very cold. Winds will be light and variable. Low: 22 °F Realfeel®: 25 °F
It's going to be extremely cold, and that means the snow and ice are here to stay for quite a while. If conditions are bad in your area - and it's likely they are - just stay home - better be safe than sorry.

UPDATE: A warning from King County Roads Services:
As many motorists are discovering, travel all across King County is becoming increasingly treacherous tonight due to snowfall and plummeting temperatures. And weather conditions are not expected to improve much as we head toward the morning commute.

The King County Road Services Division reports numerous slick roadways in all areas of the county tonight as a result of snowfall that began during the afternoon commute. While road crews are now operating around-the-clock to clear roadways of snow and ice, the potential for additional snow showers and sub-freezing temperatures will nevertheless make travel extremely hazardous just about everywhere over the next day or two.

Until temperatures moderate, motorists should make every effort to be well prepared for winter driving and use extreme caution when traveling. If you are heading out tomorrow morning, leave plenty of time to get to your destination or take the bus. The Roads Division is also advising motorists to monitor the latest weather conditions and, if possible, postpone travel if conditions deteriorate further.

If you spot a problem on a road maintained by King County, report it by calling (206) 296-8100 or 1-800 KC ROADS. This alert will be updated as conditions change.
Again, the best advice: just stay home, relax, and enjoy the snow.

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