It was a long, strange trip for a lot of folks yesterday—from work to home. The Monday evening commute took hours for many, as snowy, icy conditions turned local streets into curling rinks, parking lots, and probably a few other things that no thoroughfare should be. It reminded some of us of December 18, 1990, when a similar storm wreaked havoc on the afternoon commute. (That one, with 8 to 14 inches, was worse.) This animated gif gives you an idea how bad it was last night. (We found it in a tweet from @KIRO7Seattle, but we aren’t sure who originally created it.)
We got about 4 inches of snow on North Beacon Hill, but the wind and blowing, drifting snow makes the actual measurement difficult to determine. The conditions here as of 3:00 am are very cold and windy, with dry, granular snow that is, in some places, drifting on top of earlier ice. Walking is treacherous and driving is worse. The snow isn’t melting any time soon—as of now, the National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 25 and a low tonight of 13 for Beacon Hill.
As far as today goes, here’s what we know:
The University of Washington Seattle campus and Seattle Public Schools are closed today. See schoolreport.org for the status of other schools, colleges, and universities.
King County Executive Dow Constantine released a statement urging County government employees who are not first responders or mission-critical to telecommute or take a day of vacation instead of going to work today.
Metro is once again on snow routing. Your buses may not follow their usual routes or keep to their usual schedule. Some routes may be cancelled. (Route 38 along McClellan is one of these.) See the Transit Alerts Center for the latest information. Sound Transit’s alert page is here.
Link Light Rail performed like a champ on Monday, and should do so again today. Sound Transit ran the trains all night long to keep tracks/wires clear of ice. Expect large crowds on Link today, as people who may not always ride Link decide to try the train to avoid another hellish commute. If you do need to leave the Hill, and live at all near a station, Link is your best option.
Here’s the Seattle city snow and ice emergency page, with tons of links to useful information.
There was a series of power outages on Beacon Hill last night, mostly in an area immediately around Jefferson Park. Service is back on to most now, but there are still small outages near 24th and Hanford and 33rd and Holly. You can see all current outages here.
Please dress warmly and take good care of yourself today, neighbors. Don’t drive unless you absolutely have to! We encourage you to visit one of our local coffee shops for a warm drink or three, and keep an eye on our Twitter feed throughout the day for additional info.
Here are some images from yesterday: