The heavy snowfall may have subsided, but Valley cities are still working to clear the way for citizens.
As a response to the severe weather, both North Bend and Snoqualmie declared a state of emergency on Feb. 12. The declaration allows the cities to receive support from other agencies and governments in order to help with recovery — in this case, clearing roads and making sure every neighborhood can be accessed by fire trucks and ambulances.
According to a news release from the city of Snoqualmie, the area received some 22 inches of snow overnight on Feb. 11. The snow blocked roads and access points around the Valley.
North Bend Councilmember and Mayor Pro-Tem Trevor Kostanich said that while the city has its own snow plows, it quickly became apparent that additional help was needed. The state of emergency enabled regional support from agencies and private businesses who could help.
The city of Issaquah, Eastside Fire and Rescue, King County, and even the National Guard came out to the Valley to support North Bend in clean-up efforts with additional resources like snow plows. Snoqualmie also received plows from King County. Snoqualmie Fire Department Chief Mark Correira noted that the county brought in 240 tons of salt for the roads.
Those resources come with a cost. Due to labor, cost of additional help, and staff overtime, both cities will be examining how much was spent on recovery.
North Bend is no longer in a state of emergency, Kostanich said, but there is work to be done clearing parking areas, edges of roadways, and storm drains to reduce flooding hazards. Kostanich thanked the city staff who put in overtime to help the city in its recovery. He also thanked the citizens for their patience and collaboration to help each other out during the snow storm.
Fire Chief Correira said crews worked to clear out the snow from the city’s roads and side streets for a week. On Feb. 17, large scale snow removal work was completed and the city moved on to focus on additional clearing work as well as traffic and pedestrian safety.