Arlington weathers winter blast

Arlington’s Haller Park is blanketed in snow. - SARAH ARNEY The Arlington Times
Arlington’s Haller Park is blanketed in snow.
— image credit: SARAH ARNEY The Arlington Times

ARLINGTON —  A winter blast that closed schools, delayed garbage pickup and made for some hazardous driving finally left town as temperatures began rising over the weekend.

The winter storm made for a white Christmas, but also caused a number of problems locally. School children from the Arlington and Lakewood school districts were sent home for an extended winter break and kept road crews busy trying to keep the main thoroughfares as clear of snow as possible.

“The Arlington road crew is currently operating on a 24-hour schedule in an effort to stay ahead of the record snow fall we are receiving,” Kristin Banfield, the city’s spokesperson, said last week. “Our snow plows and sand trucks continue to focus on primary routes for emergency vehicles — maintaining access to and from the hospital and fire stations. As time and weather permits, additional secondary routes will also be plowed and sanded. We encourage all residents to stay at home. In case of any emergency, call 9-1-1.”

In many places in and around Arlington, the snow could be measured in feet rather than inches. The snow piled up so much that the Arlington Airport had to closed Monday, Dec. 22.

The snow also prevented the pickup of garbage and recycling bins.

“Thank you for your patience during our weather-related service interruptions over the past 10 days. We realize that it’s also been a trying time for each of you as you address the many services in Arlington that have been impacted by the weather,” said Susan Robinson, of Waste Management - Pacific Northwest, in an e-mail to the city of Arlington. “I’m sure that we are all ready to return to normal operations as quickly as possible.”

Waste management hopes to be able to service most of their regularly scheduled customers this week. Their managers have developed plans to “hit the streets” in full force on Monday with extra equipment and staff.

n Residential Collection: In order to collect extra garbage and recyclables from their customers during the week of Dec. 29, WM will be employing every resource available to us. WM will put all available trucks on the streets beginning on Monday and will have extra drivers on the trucks to make collection go faster.

n Commercial Collection: WM has able to keep up with many essential commercial customers (grocery stores, malls, restaurants, etc), and they expect to be fully caught up with all of their commercial and multi-family collections by mid-week.

“Since drivers are only allowed to drive 60 hours in any seven-day time period according to Federal safety regulations, we will be managing their hours very carefully,” said. Robinson. “We ask for your patience as we work through the very real logistical complications associated with these limitations and the sheer volume of material that we expect to find at the curb.”

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