Winter Weather News

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A road is covered in snow. Above the road is a traffic signal showing a green light.

Learn how to prepare and stay safe during the worst of fall and winter weather, including snow, ice, flooding, and power outages. During a storm event impacting Woodinville, check this page to get the latest news and information.

Snowed in? Here's a quick link to the City's Snow Plow Route Priority Map 2020. Woodinville’s snow response plan features a pre-determined schedule for plowing roads in priority order. Our goal is to maximize safety and access for the greatest number of people by keeping lifeline routes and major thoroughfares in good winter driving condition. During and immediately after major snow events it can take time for our crews to plow some of the smaller, low-priority residential streets. We appreciate your patience.

Sign up for King County emergency alerts to help you stay informed of regional hazards: ALERT King County

Learn how to prepare and stay safe during the worst of fall and winter weather, including snow, ice, flooding, and power outages. During a storm event impacting Woodinville, check this page to get the latest news and information.

Snowed in? Here's a quick link to the City's Snow Plow Route Priority Map 2020. Woodinville’s snow response plan features a pre-determined schedule for plowing roads in priority order. Our goal is to maximize safety and access for the greatest number of people by keeping lifeline routes and major thoroughfares in good winter driving condition. During and immediately after major snow events it can take time for our crews to plow some of the smaller, low-priority residential streets. We appreciate your patience.

Sign up for King County emergency alerts to help you stay informed of regional hazards: ALERT King County

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  • Winter Weather on the Way: February 2021

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    From King County Emergency News

    The National Weather Service in Seattle has forecast extremely cold temperatures across Western Washington through the weekend, along with possible lowland snow, breezy winds off the Cascades and to the north, and dangerous avalanche conditions in the Olympic and Cascade mountains.

    For updated forecasts:

    Travel tips and information:
    Snow and ice will make driving dangerous. Delay trips if possible. If you must travel, have an emergency kit in your vehicle, including extra clothing, food, water, and a flashlight. Also, make sure your mobile phone is fully charged.

    Preparedness resources for people and pets:

    Severe Winter Shelters

    Is your garbage or recycling pickup affected by inclement weather?

  • Snow Event FAQ

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    Each winter, Woodinville receives many questions from residents about how we prepare and respond to snow events. Here in our Snow FAQ, we've compiled the most common questions and provided answers from our maintenance experts.

    Q1: HOW DOES THE CITY PREPARE FOR SNOW AND ICE EVENTS? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE SNOW STARTS FALLING?

    • Sometime in early fall, the City of Woodinville starts checking equipment and stockpiling everything we need for snow response. This includes 5 plows, 400 gallons of de-icer, 180 tons of sand, and 70 tons of salt.
    • The day before snow is expected to arrive, City crews apply sand and a layer of de-icer to major arterials and residential streets that are known to be steep or particularly difficult to navigate.
    • The City has a system in place for prioritizing which roads to plow. With over 50 miles of roads, 30 of which are residential including over 100 cul-de-sacs, it takes time for our plows to make it out to all areas.
    • Plowing time depends on many factors, including the intensity and duration of the snowstorm, the amount of snow accumulated, as well as temperature and wind speed. During particularly intense storms where plows are in use around the clock, equipment repairs are often needed. In this situation, fewer available plows can also contribute to overall plowing time.


    Q2: HOW DOES THE CITY PRIORITIZE WHICH STREETS TO PLOW?

    • City crews operate plows according to our Snow & Ice Route Map. Our goal is to maximize safety and access for the greatest number of people by keeping lifeline routes and major thoroughfares in good winter driving condition.
    • Major arterials within the City are assigned a Priority 1 level. These roads are often plowed multiple times before starting on lower priority roads. Priority 1 routes also include roads that provide access to fire stations, medical facilities, and schools.
    • Priority 2, 3, and 4 streets are assigned by taking into consideration connectivity to major arterials, presence of steep hills, curves, or ditches, and the number of households that rely on a street to leave their neighborhood.
    • Private roads and driveways are not plowed.


    Q3: WHY HASN’T THE CITY PLOWED MY RESIDENTIAL STREET YET? WHEN CAN I EXPECT THE PLOW TO COME?

    • During and immediately after major snow events, we can sometimes get hundreds of these calls a day. Our crews are out plowing 24/7, and it can take time to get to some of the smaller residential streets. If the snow is continuing to fall, we’re likely working to ensure that major thoroughfares stay clear.
    • Please understand that we have finite resources to respond to snow events—including plow equipment, maintenance personnel, and storage capacity for deicer and salt to treat surfaces. This is especially true when responding to unusually intense snow events for our region.
    • If you live along a low-priority street and are concerned about the time it takes for plows to arrive, we recommend making a plan with your neighbors to coordinate shoveling and snow removal. If you are physically able to shovel snow, consider helping those who live nearby who may not be.
    • We recommend all Woodinville residents have an emergency kit on hand which includes first aid supplies, food, water, and other supplies to be self-sufficient for 7-10 days.


    Q4: THE PLOW JUST CAME BY MY STREET, BUT IT LEFT A HUGE PILE OF SNOW RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY DRIVEWAY! WHAT SHOULD I DO?

    • Sometimes snow pushed to the side of the road by a plow can pile up and block driveways. There is no way for plow operators to avoid this. It is the resident’s responsibility to shovel the area around their driveway.


    Q5: I’M GLAD THE CITY PLOWS OUR STREETS, BUT WHAT ABOUT SIDEWALKS? I WANT TO BE ABLE TO WALK AROUND MY NEIGHBORHOOD SAFELY.

    • With the exception of a few high-traffic areas near schools and commercial areas, the City does not remove snow from sidewalks.
    • It is the responsibility of the owner of a property abutting a public sidewalk to maintain the sidewalk at all times in a safe condition, free of snow and ice. (Woodinville Municipal Code 12.06.030)


    Q6: WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR SAFE DRIVING DURING SNOW STORMS?

    • The safest thing you can do during a snow storm is to stay off the roads. Not only is driving during snowfall treacherous for you and your vehicle, it can be life-threatening for pedestrians. Slow-moving and abandoned cars also interfere with first responders and plow operators—better not to take a chance if you can avoid it. Mostly importantly, do not abandon your car in the middle of the road.
    • If you must drive, slow down and watch for ice, hills, and ditches.
    • Be sure to clear your car of all snow and ice before leaving for your destination.
    • When driving at night, keep your headlight beams low. High beams can amplify the appearance of snow and lead to decreased visibility.


    If the city is currently or has recently experienced a snow event, please do not call to report that your street has not been plowed. Rest assured that our crews are keeping track of all plow routes and will clear lower priority roads as soon as they are able.

  • Weathering the Storm: Tips & Reminders

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    Winter is just around the corner, and that means snow and ice is on the way. Whether we see a foot of snow or just a few inches this year, it's always good to be prepared.

    Be sure to stock up on items you'll need, like snow shovels, tire chains, salt, and more. Familiarize yourself with the City's snow plow priority route map and make a plan for staying comfortable at home in case you're not able to get out to the store for a few days.

    Winter weather also means planning for power outages. We've partnered with Puget Sound Energy to bring you information about downed power lines and ways to prepare:


    Downed lines: Assume it's energized and stay as far away as you can

    • Energized lines can charge the ground near the point of contact and may electrocute you. If you come upon a downed line of any kind, stay at least 35 feet away. Do not attempt to rescue a person or pet.
    • Call 911 or the utility serving the location. For Puget Sound Energy, call 1-888-225-5773. Leave everything to utility professionals and emergency personnel.
    • Do not drive over downed power lines. Even if they’re not energized, downed wires can get entangled with your vehicle and cause further damage.


    Ways to prepare

    • Make sure your cellphones are charged if stormy weather is in the forecast.
    • Know which natural gas appliances will continue to operate if there is an outage: Natural gas water heaters, natural gas fireplaces, natural gas barbecues.
    • Unplug sensitive electronics such as your computer.


    PSE crews are committed to following proper COVID-19 public health guidelines, including wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing while working in the field.

  • Prepare for Fall & Winter Weather

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    If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that now is the time to plan for future emergencies.

    Make a plan with your family by going to www.ready.gov/plan. The resources there will guide you through thinking about how to receive emergency alerts, find shelter, evacuate, communicate with family members, and update your emergency preparedness kit. Don't forget to practice your emergency plan before disaster strikes, especially if you care for young children, elderly parents, or pets.

    In addition to year-round disasters like earthquakes and pandemic virus, early fall is a great time to prepare for seasonal power outages and snow storms. Replenish your emergency stock of non-perishable food, water, medicine, and other items. Check your car windshield wipers and tire pressure. Buy a snow shovel now, before everyone else gets the same idea.

    And most importantly, be sure to sign up for ALERT King County for emergency alerts that help you stay informed about potential hazards and threats impacting the Woodinville area.

    More Resources:

    American Red Cross: How to Prepare for Emergencies

    Ready.gov: Build a Disaster Supplies Kit

  • What to do during a Power Outage

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    The wind is whistling, snow is blanketing the yard, and you're worried the power might go out . Now is the time to act fast and make sure you're prepared. Use these tips to stay safe and warm during a winter storm:

    Before a Power Outage:

    • Make sure your home is properly insulated.
    • Purchase a supply of emergency heating fuel.
    • Check flashlights and radios.
    • Set your fridge and freezer to the coldest setting (remember to change it back later).

    During a Power Outage:

    • Wear layers. Make sure your hands, head, and feet are covered.
    • If using a generator, follow all safety instructions and don't keep it running inside the house.
    • Unplug all electronics to avoid the possibility of surge damage once the power comes back on.

    After a Power Outage:

    • Be extra cautious in the snow and look out for downed or hanging electric wires.
    • Check on your neighbors and offer to help.
    • Continue to stay off the roads to help emergency response workers respond quickly to calls and maintenance crews plow and clear tree debris.

    To learn more about what your can do to prepare, visit takewinterbystorm.org for information, checklists, and more.