Mark’s Seattle Snow Basic’s (after all I was born here and have seen these ideas change over many years)
This week we have another chance of inner city snow (Wednesday night). Each year, December 26th through Jan 20th is the real “Snow Season” for this city. I am aware of Thanksgiving time and later in April too for snow. Here are a few things I have listed for you if we ever see a snowy morning.
*Schools now alert News Media usually the night before of closure intentions based on a new computer system. Most Seattle schools also have e-mail to alert you (Facebook and Twitter too) Kids are fast at latest Snow report I say.
* A ½ inch of snow frozen will create a mess in town with all the hills.
* Metro Bus transportation. Drivers will only stop at bottom or at top of hill. If you’re in middle of a three block hill they likely will not stop. Any word of snow these coaches will chain up as out of city neighborhoods will be hit with snow first.
* Light Rail is best way to and from Airport in jammed freeways during snow time.
* Seattle has 12 Snow Plows last I counted.
* Sledding is not allowed on Seattle streets. We had had some terrible even fatal accidents involving parked cars even.
* Stay off the Ice. Local Lakes and Ponds are not safe, ever! It takes weeks of FREEZE to create a safe shell over a Lake.
* Abandoned Car. It is illegal to leave it on a main road (Freeway, Arterial). If it’s your only choice then park off to the side and retrieve it next day. It will be towed eventually and you would have fees and citation issued. Most paid parking lots will give you courtesy time to park in snow. Don’t abuse the service.
* Long waits in traffic. If you’re not moving and your car is running, your battery will still go dead after a couple hours. Spare the power and heat. Turn off headlights but parking lights would be good. If you know snow is on the way make sure of food/water and clothes/pillow/blanket in the car. Thats how I survived two years in Spokane!
* 4X4, All wheel drive. Slow down. 4X4 rigs are not made for Ice. The tires must have something to grab (snow, Mud, Sand)
* Safe speed on now is 35 mph, Easy on brakes approaching Stops and Traffic. Driving in 2nd Gear is good too. If you have a stick shift (Manual transmission) careful shifting on ice to lower gear, you could go into a spin.
* Avoid hills no matter what. Repeat and repeat again.
* Hit and run (fender bender with another car and leaving) is a crime in this city. Leave your name and phone for car owner to chat with you. Take pictures of dents and scratches with your phone.
*If deep snow remove from Roof of house if safe to do so. Boat shed, Tarps. Car tops. Do this right away. The snow will warm to rain and that adds weight very quickly.
* Common sense of all this. Stay home.