Northwest NEWS

November 27, 2000

Local News

County ready for first snow

With winter around the corner, King County Department of Transportation crews are ready to be pressed into action when the snow begins this fall. The department is advising motorists to do the same and prepare for winter driving before the bad weather strikes.
   The Department of Transportation is once again reminding residents they can turn to the Internet to find out the latest driving conditions by visiting the department's road closure Web site or by signing up for "King County Alert," a free e-mail subscription service that alerts motorists about closures and other problems on county maintained roadways.
   The department's Road Services Division has 47 snow removal vehicles, from sanding trucks to snow plows, positioned throughout the county.
   When conditions warrant, maintenance crews will begin removing snow and ice from major arterials, bus and emergency routes, and access routes to freeways and park and ride lots. When snowfall is significant, crews will be placed on 12-hour shifts to provide around-the-clock coverage.
   Although road crews have already received their snow removal route assignments, some of those forces could be shifted to other parts of the county if necessary.
   This season, the division will have about 12,000 cubic yards of sand and 210 tons of salt immediately available for snow and ice operations. Stockpiles of sand and salt are located at nine maintenance sites throughout the county. Maintenance crews are responsible for over 2,500 miles of roadway, which includes contract services provided to the cities of Woodinville, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and Kenmore.
   While the county works hard to keep roads clear of snow and ice, motorists should familiarize themselves with these winter driving tips:
   Allow ample time to reach your destination.
   Equip your vehicle with all season tires and carry tire chains.
   If you must abandon your vehicle, park it clear of travel lanes to allow sanding trucks to get through. Cars left in travel lanes may be towed and impounded.
   Dress for the weather in case you become stranded and have to walk.
   Use caution when following a snowplow or sander by allowing at least two car lengths distance.
   Caution children about the dangers of sledding on hilly streets.
   Residents can learn more about travel disruptions and closures by signing up for "King County Alert!" at http://www.metrokc.gov/kcdot/alert/.
   This e-mail service provides motorists with up-to-date information on road hazards or closures seven days a week, whenever bad weather strikes.
   The Internet e-mail service has provided vital road information to thousands of county residents since being launched two years ago.
   Residents are encouraged to report slippery roads by calling (206) 296-8100 or 1-800-KC ROADS if they live outside the greater Seattle calling area.
   AT&T Wireless Services customers can call #FIXIT free of charge to report road problems.
   Residents can find out if there are any roads closed due to bad weather by calling (206) 205-9150 or by visiting http://www.metrokc.gov/kcdot/alert/.