The City of Spokane Declares Stage 2 Snow Emergency Again - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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The City of Spokane Declares Stage 2 Snow Emergency Again

A school bus gets stuck in North Spokane (Photo: Patrick Erickson / KHQ) A school bus gets stuck in North Spokane (Photo: Patrick Erickson / KHQ)
A school bus gets stuck at Gordon and Addison in North Spokane (Photo: Vivian Snodgrass) A school bus gets stuck at Gordon and Addison in North Spokane (Photo: Vivian Snodgrass)
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SPOKANE, Wash. - You know it's bad when even the school buses can't get around to pick kids up and get them to school. That, and after receiving numerous calls and complaints from people asking for a bailout on residential streets, the City of Spokane declared a Stage 2 Snow Emergency on Thursday.

The Stage 2 declaration means crews will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week until they plow every street in the city – including residential streets.

Within 12 hours—or by 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2—people must move their cars so they are parked on the even side of the street within the residential area.  Parking is restricted in the downtown between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. to facilitate plowing there.  And no parked cars are allowed on arterials or STA fixed bus routes.




Wednesday night's rain and sloppy snow converted snow-packed arterials and residential streets into slushy messes with deep ruts. Even the city's plow trucks were having difficulty with the slop, finding it difficult to move the snow and slush to the sides of the roads.  Because of such messy conditions, a city spokesperson said plowing the entire city would likely take longer than usual.

And because the snow is so wet and heavy people should be warned that the muck plowed in front of driveways would probably be thicker and more difficult to move than it usually is. Much of it will become ice as colder temperatures move in over the weekend.

"We are working hard to keep the city moving but we are asking for citizens' patience as we address new and changing conditions," said Mayor Mary Verner in a news release.

Some of the areas most impacted by the slush appear to be the North Central area of Spokane where many streets were impassable on Thursday. KHQ received several calls from people in North Spokane who said they couldn't leave their neighborhood because of the poor street conditions.

School buses were also impacted by the snow and slush. At least some children in Spokane Dist. 81 arrived to school late on Thursday because buses either couldn't reach them or arrived late because of the street conditions. The Mead School District, outside the city limits, also reported having troubles navigating through neighborhoods.


MORE DETAILS:

In residential areas cars should be parked on the even side of the street until the plows pass through. Parking remains restricted in the downtown area between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. to facilitate plowing there. And no parked cars are allowed on arterials or STA fixed bus routes. The City also asks that citizens clear snow off of parked vehicles and from around fire hydrants, storm drains, and mail boxes.

Restricting parking during snow emergencies allows plow drivers to clear away more snow, widening the area available for cars, trucks, and buses and generally improving driveability for motorists. In the residential areas, parking on one side of the street also allows plow drivers to move away from the curb, reducing the amount of snow and ice that ends up on sidewalks and at the end of driveways. 

When driving in these wintry conditions, the City is asking motorists to slow down, be patient, and drive according to the conditions. In downtown, crews "racked" the snow to the center of the street, creating snow berms.  Motorists should not attempt to cross the berms; they will get stuck. 

Also, don't follow plows closely, and please do not try to pass plow trucks; it is very dangerous. 

Please assist your neighbors who may need help removing snow from their driveways and sidewalks. And don't blow or shovel snow into the street, but back into your yard. That will prevent more snow and ice from being pushed onto sidewalks and the end of driveways by City plows.

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