Year’s first blast of snow blankets Arlington; another round on the way this weekend (slide show)

ARLINGTON – Another round of accumulating snow is on the way to Arlington this weekend after the heavy snowfall that greeted football fans on Super Bowl Sunday.

By mid-day Feb. 4, up to 9 inches of overnight and early morning snow blanketed Arlington. Rural areas such as Arlington Heights reported as much as 13 inches.

Another five inches or more of snow are forecasted for the Arlington area and Snohomish County through Sunday, starting most likely after midnight Thursday with lows in the mid to upper 20s, according to the National Weather Service.

Friday will be mostly cloudy with a chance of snow in the morning and afternoon, followed by more accumulation overnight, with occasional flurries continuing into Tuesday.

As temperatures fall below freezing this Friday and Saturday night, any wet or slushy areas on untreated roads and sidewalks could turn icy. City government and the school district are taking precautions a day at a time to be as prepared as possible; so should residents.

In Arlington, the school district first announced it would start two hours late Tuesday, but then canceled class altogether. Schools in Arlington and Lakewood started two hours late on Wednesday, with limited bus transportation in Arlington, no out-of-district pickups, no APPLE or Presidents Elementary preschool, morning skills center or zero-hour classes. Athletics, including a girls basketball game Wednesday night against Marysville Getchell, and after-school activities were still scheduled.

Also, Monday’s City Council meeting was cancelled, with action to be taken next Monday, and City Hall closed at 3 p.m. to give staffers time to get home and avoid driving in the dark.

The temperatures are expected to stay below freezing overnight in the mid-teens to low 20s, with slush and snow refreezing overnight to make for dicey driving conditions mornings.

Responding to snow and ice conditions, Arlington public works crews have stayed out out on local roads with their combination snowplow-sanders.

Arlington dispatched its 10-ton plow trucks to first tackle busiest primary routes that feed into state-maintained highways including Highways 530, 531 and 9, city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said. Roads such as 67th Avenue, 59th Avenue, 204th, 211th Place, and 188th Street and Airport Boulevard in Smokey Point are often used by public safety vehicles, transit agencies, hospitals and schools.

Runways at Arlington Municipal Airport closed mid-day Monday, and crews took a second pass at key streets in Crown Ridge, Gleneagle and other hillside neighborhoods.

The department uses a sand-and-salt mixture, and de-icing materials, in making local roads as clear as possible.

Crews working 12-hour shifts focused on streets that connect neighborhoods, then residential streets, in accordance with the city’s snow and ice removal map.

Banfield urged motorists to give plower-sander trucks a wide berth – 200 feet, or more on steeper hills.

“Give our crews enough room to work, stay off local roads if you don’t have to be out, but if you do, please slow down,” Banfield said. “A lot of the collisions in the region happened because drivers were going too fast for the road conditions.”

Motorists should be extra alert and obey flaggers at Highway 9 and 204th Street NE Thursday and Friday if contractors are able to install c-curbing during the day. The work is weather dependent.

She also cautioned that while some families may enjoy the snow days, children looking to downhill sled need to stay off the streets.

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Sue Weiss, 60
                                Work: Retired accountant, City Council
                                Education: Associates degree in Respiratory Therapy, Certificate of Municipal Leadership through Association of Wash. Cities.
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