Due to snowy weather, the Washington State Legislature will be mostly closed for business tomorrow, legislative leaders have announced. So if you were planning to go down to Olympia for a committee meeting or to testify on a bill that was due to have a hearing… don’t. Stay home instead, and be safe.
“Tomorrow’s hearings will be rescheduled as soon as possible so that those planning to testify on bills will have the opportunity to do so when travel to Olympia is safer,” House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan’s office said in a statement.
“Rescheduling details will follow. People meeting individually with House legislators or staff should call ahead to see if their schedules have changed. Besides snow this evening, weather services are forecasting more snow beginning Monday afternoon. House leadership will talk again tomorrow to determine Tuesday’s schedule.”
“Due to severe weather conditions, the House and Senate are canceling all committee hearings on Monday, February 11th,” legislative staff said in an announcement posted to the Legislature’s official website, leg.wa.gov.
“At this point we anticipate returning to full operations on Tuesday.”
Tonight’s forecast calls for snow, snow, and more snow throughout Western Washington. The snow threat continues through the week, although daytime highs are supposed to get closer to forty degrees Fahrenheit as the week goes on.
The combined cold snap and snow threat is something Western Washington rarely sees due to its mild winters, which are influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Unlike many cities in the Midwest and on the East Coast, Washington’s topography is rather hilly, which makes travel in snowy and icy conditions much more dangerous.
Conditions in parts of Eastern Washington are even more treacherous. A Washington State Patrol trooper on Saturday posted a short video depicting whiteout conditions near the Tri-Cities and describing a pileup of cars on I-82.
Live video from Trooper Brandt’s patrol car near I-82 and Coffin road in Benton County where hundreds of cars are currently stranded after a large injury collision pile up earlier today. Troopers are trying their hardest to get everyone help and turned around! pic.twitter.com/8LPUSR6pHD
— Trooper C. Thorson (@wspd3pio) February 10, 2019
The bottom line: Stay warm, avoid unnecessary travel, and be safe!