Monday’s snowfall, freezing temperatures and icy conditions resulted in school and city office closings, a run on snow shovels and sleds at Ace Hardware in North Bend, lots of single-vehicle accidents throughout the area, and round-the-clock snow-plowing in the city of North Bend.
School let out early in the Snoqualmie Valley and Riverview School Districts on November 22, and has been cancelled as of Tuesday. The Riverview School Board meeting scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled to Nov. 30. Parent-teacher conferences in the Snoqualmie Valley School District have been postponed.
In North Bend, City Hall opened with limited staff, but the Si View Community Center, the Senior Center, and Snoqualmie Valley Transportation all closed. Garbage, yard waste and recycling pick-up are cancelled, but the next scheduled pick-up will take double the usual amount.
Mail service was light in both cities, mainly because the mail couldn’t get into the cities to be distributed. North Bend had only partial delivery Monday and a lighter mail load Tuesday. Snoqualmie has only gotten about a third its usual mail amount for today, but is expecting things to be back to normal by Wednesday.
Most of the weather-related incidents were concentrated in the upper Valley, where Eastside Fire & Rescue reported a very busy Monday.
“Not too many were serious injuries, because they were low-speed accidents, but there were many, many accidents,” said Jeff Griffin, Deputy Chief with EFR.
Toward Carnation, Lt. Carey Hert of the Carnation-Duvall Police Department reported a few cars in ditches, but mostly, he said, “We were pretty lucky. People are obviously staying home and driving slowly.”
The ones who are out have been stocking up on ice-melt, gloves, snow shovels, and of course, sleds. “We’ve blown through so many sleds,” said Ace Hardware manager Chris McCartney. Even after the store got a new supply of snow shovels and sleds in this morning, they quickly sold out again.
“We’ve been selling a ton of propane,” said Chris Schirado at R&R Rentals. The cold weather has increased heater sales, too, with “the occasional” Bobcat rented to clear snow out of a driveway or roadway.
North Bend’s snowplows worked around the clock Monday, but made little headway while the snow continued to fall. “Once the snow stopped, they started catching up, around 10 o’clock last night,” said Ron Garrow, North Bend Public Works Director. The plows focused on downtown North Bend, Forester Woods, North Bend Way to Truck Town, the Cedar Falls corridor, Wood River to 140th St, and SR 202.
Conditions the rest of the week will be warming, which has some concerned about flooding.
Snoqualmie Fire Chief Bob Rowe said his department is always prepared for flooding, but he was not anticipating a significant rise in the Snoqualmie River from snowmelt.
“Last I heard, the snow up on the pass is going to remain frozen,” he said.
Rowe noted that he begins monitoring the Snoqualmie when the flow rate exceeds 12,000 cubic feet per second (Phase II flood level), and decides whether to open the area Emergency Operations Center when the level reaches 33,000 cubic feet per second.
For the most current information on flooding and road conditions in King County, visit http://www.rpin.org/rpinweb.