We hope all Beacon Hill Blog readers had a lovely Christmas and are having a lovely Boxing Day today. However, that lovely Christmas morning was also a stormy one, and we knowthat a few of you have had to deal with damage from the storm.
Neighbor Brook on North Beacon Hill reported that a huge gust of wind from the east took the walls of his backyard shed right off the floor, and later gusts took the roof right into the neighbors’ yard. Brook took the destruction well, however: “Really, I should be thankful. The hardest part of moving the shed has been taken care of by a windstorm. Best Christmas present ever.”
Did you have any damage from the Christmas morning winds? Please tell us in the comments.
There’s only a tiny bit of snow on the Hill right now, left over from last night. Like everyone else in Seattle, we are waiting to see if today’s promised snow day arrives. (KIRO’s Sam Argier just tweeted “Latest computer model coming in much more aggressive with Wednesday’s snow” and showed a 1″-4″ predicted snowfall for the city.) A winter storm warning is in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday morning. Keep your eyes on School Report for any potential closures, and be aware that the snow may hit us during the evening commute as it did during the November storm—consider leaving your car home, if possible.
A new record low overnight temperature was set this morning: 14F at Sea-Tac Airport. The bitter cold means that many streets are still quite slick today, and driving may still be hazardous. Take transit if you can. King County Metro says that buses are still on snow routes, but fewer routes will be cancelled. (Route 38 on McClellan, however, is one of them.) See the Transit Alerts Center for the latest information. Sound Transit’s alert page is here.
SDOT tweeted that “Snow routes in good condition due to overnight work. No significant problems in that network of streets.”
The Seattle Times (BHB news partner) has an interesting article on why Seattle can’t handle snow. It explains, among other things, why the anti-ice chemicals sprayed on major arterials in advance of the storm actually made things worse: the brine was diluted by the melting snow, making it ineffective against further snow, and then refroze into a slick sheet of ice.
Speaking of ice, there’s a lot of ice still on sidewalks, steps, and walkways. Please clear the ones you’re responsible for—falling on the ice can be really dangerous.
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.
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.
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.
It’s sticking on the street in the middle of the crosswalk (where the cars don’t drive) in front of the library at 6:30 this morning. So far, just little flakes, but coming down steadily. How are things in your part of the hill?
There are a few places on Beacon Hill that can be slick even in frostless conditions such as we have today: for example, on South Massachusetts Street just east of 17th Avenue South, where there is what seems to be a permanent water leak wetting the road. Later this week, the precipitation will return, and there could be ice—or even snow—to contend with. Please be careful when navigating the streets and sidewalks of our hilly neighborhood.
About 4,657 customers lost power at about 6:20 p.m. The cause is unknown and the estimated time of power restoral is undetermined. Affected areas include parts of Rainier Beach, Beacon Hill and Seward Park. The general boundaries of the outage are S. Alaska St. on the North, S. Norfolk St. on the South, Lake Washington on the East and Airport Way S. on the West.