Snohomish County Public Works provides tools and tips for winter weather preparedness

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Snow and ice will likely be in Western Washington soon, so it’s a great time to brush up on how to prepare for winter weather. Snohomish County Public Works staff is reminding residents of useful tools and helpful tips to get ready for any snow and ice events as the weather gets colder, according to a news release.

For those venturing through unincorporated Snohomish County, visit the Public Works Snow and Ice web page for road closure information and more. Public Works’ snow removal and anti-icing map shows which routes are primary and secondary. It also allows residents to see what county roads have been recently plowed, sanded or had anti-icing applied.

The county’s road maintenance crew is responsible for approximately 1,600 miles of roads. Multiple snowplow runs and treatments may be required to keep primary routes passable. All other routes will be addressed based on priority, existing resources, and weather conditions. Anti-icing liquid (calcium chloride) will be used in pre-determined areas when weather conditions are appropriate for this type of treatment.

The prioritization of snow and ice routes are based on traffic volume, bus routes, terrain, and historical knowledge of problem areas. Emergencies affecting life and safety in a winter storm may alter these guidelines.

Please do not call more than once to request a single road section be plowed during a heavy snowfall event — prioritization does not change based on the number of public calls received on a single road section.

When call volumes are high, you may need to leave a message requesting service or to describe the conditions in your area. All messages will be reviewed and requests will be submitted to the appropriate response team.

During snow/ice weather events, it’s also important to:

Know who to call and when:

• Life-threatening emergencies, call 911.

Non-life threatening emergencies: 425-407-3999

• Give snowplows and anti-icing equipment plenty of room to work. Allow for a minimum following distance of 200 feet.

• If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the displaced snow and ice, or sand spray.

• Vehicles parked along all major arterials and emergency routes must be moved off the street. Vehicles left in the travel lane of a roadway and blocking traffic may be towed at the owner’s expense. Move vehicles when snow is in the forecast. Parking vehicles in the driveway and off the road helps the snowplows finish routes more quickly and efficiently.

• Residents clearing driveways are advised to pile the snow away from walkways and to the left side as you face the house, especially closer to the road. This prevents the snowplow blade from pushing the material back into the driveway. Do not throw snow onto the road, as this creates obstructions in the roadway that can be hazardous.

• Keep drainage inlets near your home clear of leaves and debris during the winter months to help reduce the chance of flooding.

• Try to keep garbage bins and other obstacles out of the street when the roads are icy or covered with snow.

• Obey road closed signs.

• Be sure to have vehicles mechanically prepared for cold weather. Four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or higher clearance vehicles reduce problems on secondary roads; have tire chains or traction tires readily available.

• Keep food, water and medical supplies in your home that will last up to one week. Monitor weather reports for more effective long-term winter planning.

Follow Snohomish County departments on social media for the most up-to-date information during an emergency event:

• Public Works on X and  Facebook and Instagram

• Department of Emergency Management on X

• Snohomish County on X and Facebook

  1. All good points, but appreciate if you’d address when snowplows continually cover newly shoveled sidewalks and starts of driveways, especially on a heavily traveled arterial., like OVD. It’s a big problem many of us homeowners can’t handle, but want to keep the areas clear for school children, walkers, runners, bicyclists etc., and be able to get out of our driveway. Thanks…

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