City plows working hard to keep roads clear during winter storm

Lynnwood snow plow Snowbi Wan Kenobi works hard to keep the roads safe during the winter storm. (Photo courtesy of City of Lynnwood)

With heavy snow and slick roads making driving treacherous, the City of Lynnwood said its snow plows were busy clearing local roadways Tuesday morning and will continue plowing into the weekend if necessary.

“We went into a 24-hour snow activation at noon on Sunday and have been deicing and plowing ever since,” said Lynnwood Manager of Communications and Public Affairs Nathan MacDonald. “We currently have six snow plows and two deicing vehicles canvasing the city.”

During a snow event like this one, MacDonald said the city’s highest priority is plowing and sanding major arterials so that emergency first responders are able to get in and around the city to provide essential services and keep the city operational.

The City of Lynnwood created a map showing the highest priority areas for snow plows this week. (Photo courtesy of City of Lynnwood)

The city’s snow plow routes map indicates two levels of the city’s highest priorities:

  • First priorities are the red marked streets.
  • Second priorities are the green marked streets.
  • The city’s next priorities are some of the steepest streets throughout the city, followed by minor arterial and connection streets.
  • The city’s final priorities are all the other neighborhood streets. These are usually sanded and plowed at night for safety reasons, when traffic is low.

“Please remember to give our crews plenty of space on the road so we can all stay safe,” MacDonald said.

The Lynnwood Recreation Center opened late on Tuesday due to the weather, and staff will reevaluate if early closure is necessary each day this week based on conditions and staffing. All Lynnwood Senior Center classes were also canceled Tuesday. City staff will continue to update its Play Lynnwood page with any other schedule changes as the week progresses.

As for Snohomish County’s incorporated areas, Snohomish County Public Works said that its road maintenance crews cleared approximately 9,185 miles of roads throughout the county since Saturday evening, with all 38 plows working overnight. Crews will continue to plow, sand and salt until temperatures rise and conditions return to normal.

“We had a consistent snowfall overnight with our crews focused on clearing the new snow and laying down abrasives,” Snohomish County Public Works Director Kelly Snyder said. “Drivers, as always, need to watch for icy conditions especially on hills, curves and in intersections.”

Before heading out during a snow or ice event, it is highly recommended that commuters check their travel routes and options, the county said. For those venturing through unincorporated Snohomish County, visit the Public Works Snow and Ice webpage for road closure information and more. The new snow removal and anti-icing map shows which routes are primary and secondary and allows residents to see what county roads have been recently plowed and sanded.

The prioritization of snow and ice routes are based on traffic volume, transit and school bus routes, terrain and knowledge of problem areas. The prioritization does not change based on public calls – even multiple calls – requesting service.
The City of Lynnwood also offered some other helpful tips for residents during extreme weather conditions:
  • Cover and wrap hose bibs in the front and back of your house to prevent freezing pipes.
  • Remove debris such as leaves and packed snow from storm drains to help alleviate drainage problems and prevent flooding. Reminder: Adjacent property owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks.
  • After a heavy rainfall or a snowmelt, storm drains can become overloaded; avoid driving through standing water on the roadways.
  • Use extreme caution while driving in inclement weather of any kind. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, always yield to service vehicles such as plows, sanders, police or fire vehicles and transit buses. And if you don’t have to go out when the roads are dangerous, please stay home.

Follow the Lynnwood Streets Department on Twitter @LynnwoodStreets to get updates on the city’s inclement weather response.

For those looking to get out of the weather, Snohomish County also has a centralized online hub here with information about cold weather shelters and warming centers available both locally and countywide.

– By Lauren Reichenbach

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