City of Arlington closes activities, services in wake of snowfall, expects more to come
By KIRK BOXLEITNER
Arlington Times Reporter
January 17, 2012 · 12:58 PM
ARLINGTON — Tuesday, Jan. 17, saw the city of Arlington extending its three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday into a four-day weekend for many of its activities and services, due to heavy snowfall creating difficult driving conditions, with even more severe conditions predicted for the week ahead.
Arlington Assistant City Administrator Kristin Banfield reported that city street crews have two shifts of three drivers and three trucks operating on 12 hour shifts, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
"We're doing the best we can," said Banfield, who also announced that the Arlington City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. has been cancelled. "It's really coming down and the forecast is for more, especially tomorrow."
The city of Arlington is currently under winter storm protocols and running a 24-hour operation to maintain all of its priority primary routes, by plowing and applying a sand and salt mixture, with side streets being maintained as time allows.
"Everyone is encouraged to limit their travel to only what is necessary," Banfield said. "If you must venture out, stay safe."
The city of Arlington Planning Commission meeting set for Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. has also been cancelled. The next City Council meeting is tentatively set for Monday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m.
The city of Arlington's snow-clearing maps are available on its website at http://arlingtonwa.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=986.
The Snohomish County road-clearing priority map is located online at http://publicworks.snoco.org/RoadMaint/snowIcePlanRouteMap.html.
A Winter Weather Advisory for the Puget Sound interior lowlands is in effect until 4 p.m. on Jan. 17, which is set to be followed by a Winter Storm Warning running through the evenings of Jan. 17 and Wednesday, Jan. 18.
Snow accumulation of 1-3 inches is possible for Tuesday, with localized snow falling heavier in some areas, but a rain shadow from the Olympics may shield much of this impact from southwest Snohomish County and northwest King County.
The forecast for Wednesday is currently calling for 5-10 inches of snow accumulation, with snow starting around the morning commute and continuing throughout the day. This system is expected to bring windy conditions to the area as well. Snowfall should taper off significantly into Wednesday night, but the afternoon commute could be treacherous.
The transition back to moderate temperatures and rain is tentatively expected to start from the south on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 19, but is not likely to reach our area until sometime later in the day. The transition to rain following a large snow event will likely produce slushy conditions, with a possibility of pooling on roads and urban flooding in low areas and small streams. No river flooding is forecast at this time.
The National Weather Service is forecasting this as a very significant snowfall event, with accumulations deeper than we've seen in the last few years.
Remember to carry extra-warm dry clothes if you are on the roads, stop at the grocery store soon and stock up on anything you may need for the next couple of days, check your flashlights, fill your gas tank and check on your neighbors.
Snowstorms like this can cause power outages as the snow accumulates on the tree limbs and wire. According to the National Weather Service, this will be the most snow we've seen in years.
For the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service, log onto http://weather.gov and type your location into the "Local Forecast" search bar.Contact Arlington Times Reporter Kirk Boxleitner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-659-1300 Ext. 5052.