Worst of Snowstorm 2019 over?

Marysville, Arlington clean up slushy mess

  • Wednesday, February 13, 2019 2:05pm
  • Life

A look at the 10-day weather forecast shows the worst of Snowstorm 2019 may be over.

Temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s, along with expected rain rather than snow, means we should be seeing less instead of more of the white stuff.

While some snow is expected Sunday morning the long-term forecast is for rain-snow mixed.

Main streets were clear Wednesday, except for piles of dirty snow along the edges. Side streets were still filled with multiple inches of slush as snow melted. Now that the snow had stopped, many folks were clearing sidewalks, including city worker Nathan Markham at Jennings Park.

The Marysville School District is thinking about how it will make up the six snow days.

District spokeswoman Jodi Runyon said in an email Monday that there are four make-up days built into the calendar on March 15, May 24 and June 20-21. However, Tuesday and Wednesday make it six days.

“We have been having some discussions but have no definite plans yet,” Runyon wrote. “Once this weather settles down and we know exactly how many days we have to make up, we will have additional discussions around next steps, which may include applying for a waiver from the state.”

Such a waiver would allow the district not to make up the time.

Meanwhile, accumulations of snow caused problems in Marysville and Arlington early this week. Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said Monday that each week of snow costs the city an extra $100,000 for equipment and overtime. The money comes out of an emergency reserve fund. “It’s for unplanned issues,” such as snow or wind storms, he said.

City officials, who say it’s the snowiest February in 70 years, asked that sledders not use city streets because of the danger of motorists. Also city crews, were unable to plow 84th in Marysville because of so many sledders.

The mayor said places like Jennings Park are a better location for sledders. “It’s safer for them and easier for plows and drivers,” he said.

The city of Arlington asked people to stay off the roads.

Nehring agreed.

“If you can stay home or work from home that’s always preferable,” he said, adding it’s safer for everyone if there are fewer motorists on slippery roads.

Schools were closed Monday through Wednesday in Arlington, Lakewood and Marysville, along with Everett Community College. Food banks announced they will be closed when schools are.

Sunday, many churches reduced services, delayed them or even canceled them due to inclement weather.

Marysville police said on Twitter that a few cars were stolen Monday, after people left the engine running unattended.

Community Transit buses were delayed up to 60 minutes part of the week.

Arlington residents were asked to pull their garbage carts from the road and were being told on their next regular collection day they could set out triple the amount at no charge. Last weekend, three trees fell down on the hill on South Olympic Avenue in Arlington. There have been other reports of plows in ditches, and Arlington police making snow angels with kids. Even Arlington Municipal Cemetery did not have any burial services this week due to the weather.

No business like snow business

Many store shelves for certain items were empty. Stores were selling ice melt as fast as they got it in, along with shovels, sand, tire chains and even sleds. A teller at Safeway in Smokey Point said Sunday that it’s been busier than Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, all the holidays, combined. She said checkout lines have gone halfway down aisles.

McKenzie Golden, manager at the Marysville Grocery Outlet, said Monday that they were restocked and would get more items Tuesday. She said they even ordered extra, “for people who like to stock up.”

Golden said they were a little low on fresh meat, but Tuesday’s delivery would fix that. The store had the basic staples of milk, eggs and bread, unlike some other stores. Their big sellers were firewood and water.

Bruce McDonald, manager of Formula Tire in Marysville, said he’d been busier than usual this time of year due to the snow.

Even though it’s late in the season he still sold some studded tires, but most tire sales have been of the all-weather variety. One of his biggest sellers – “snow tubes” for recreationists wanting to slide down slopes.

Some local businesses like Shalom Lawn Maintenance Service expanded what they do to get work. With snow covering up lawns, Vicente Siney turned to plowing parking lots, for a starting base price of $225.

Some stores were opening late and closing early – if they opened at all, because of slick roads for workers and customers.

Passing the time

What to do? That’s been on the minds of many people as kids have been off from schools, resulting in many parents taking time off work. Playing video games and watching TV are favorite indoor pastimes, but others have been reading, playing board games or doing projects.

Outdoor play also has been popular, with sledding at places like Jennings Park among the favorite activities. Having snowball fights, building snowmen and making snow angels were other favorites.

Since it was looking like Alaska around here, others took to building igloos. Bobby and Daniele Marsten and kids Levi, Payten and Carson made one on 3rd Street in Marysville. They used a plastic container as the mold for their snow bricks. “I graded them on their block-building skills,” the dad said Tuesday night. “Their speed, the quality … that motivated them.”

He said they must have spent six hours or so building it. “It’s amazing how much snow we still have” in the yard, he added.

Meanwhile, Isabella Smith, 7, of Marysville came up with a poster on “Stuff to do when we’re bored.”

It included ideas such as puzzles, coloring, playing outside, watching a show, going on a walk and playing with cars.

Snohomish County   

Countywide, the Department of Emergency Management has activated its Emergency Coordination Center.

Numerous spinouts and fender benders have been reported. Law enforcement reports that some of those crashes have ended with the drivers exchanging blows instead of insurance information. “Drivers are encouraged to stay off the roads, but if they have no choice, it helps to extend others some space and kindness,” DEM director Jason Biermann said.

The sheriff’s office is prioritizing calls based on the seriousness of each incident (injuries, immediate threat to life or public safety). “If you are involved in a non-injury collision, please do not call 9-1-1,” sheriff spokeswoman Shari Ireton said. “Please exchange information at the scene, call a tow truck and file a collision report online.”

County crews are running between 30-40 plows. They work primary routes first, moving onto secondary and local access routes as they make progress. The county asks motorists to give snowplows and deicers room to work, allowing for at least 200 feet following distance. Crews are continuing to work in 12-hour shifts around the clock. The county executive has declared an emergency, which allows quicker access to resources such as sand and salt.

Cold-weather shelter

Meanwhile, since Marysville does not have a cold-weather shelter this year, Arlington has opened its doors from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. through March 31 when temperatures drop to 32 degrees or below for three or more hours.

A light supper and breakfast are usually served. Call 360-403-4674 to see if a shelter is open. To volunteer, call 360-435-3259.

Sites include:

•Sundays, Mondays: Immaculate Conception Church, 1200 E. 5th St. 360-435-8565.

•Tuesdays: Jake’s House, 18824 Smokey Point Blvd., Suite 105, 360-659-8900.

•Wednesdays: Arlington United Church, 338 N. MacLeod Ave., 360-435-3259.

•Thursdays: Smokey Point Community Church, 17721 Smokey Point Blvd., 360-659-2844.

•Fridays, Saturdays: Arlington United Church.

-Arlington reporter Douglas Buell contributed to this report. 

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