Sequim’s big snow surprises

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by Sequim Gazette staff

What was predicted to be a dusting of snow — not more than a couple inches — turned into a full-blown blizzard Monday afternoon in Sequim.

By 2 p.m. an estimated 5 inches of snow accumulated in downtown Sequim, with the National Weather Service updating its prediction to a possible 24 inches of snow by Tuesday. 

While the Sequim School District started Monday classes as usual, students were loaded onto buses and sent home at 2:15 p.m. On Tuesday, classes were canceled altogether. The Port Angeles School District canceled school for students Monday and Peninsula College closed all locations at 11 a.m.

Even dancing at the Oasis Sports Bar & Grill was canceled because of the snow. Port Book and News in Port Angeles closed two hours early and canceled its scheduled author event. Sequim City Council postponed Monday night’s meeting until next Monday, Nov. 29, and the Sequim school board canceled its regularly scheduled meeting Monday night as well.

All North Olympic Peninsula libraries — including Sequim, Port Angeles, Forks and Clallam Bay — closed at 4 p.m. Monday but reopened Tuesday morning.

Washington State Patrol reported that in 24 hours ending at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, troopers responded statewide to 1,557 collisions and 1,274 disabled motorists.

Clallam Transit has a snow plan

During severe ice or snow conditions on the Olympic Peninsula, Clallam Transit System may reroute its buses, which are likely to run behind schedule.

Some routes may be cancelled in severe weather.

No service interruptions are expected, however, on the Sequim Shuttle, bus Route 40.

If riding the bus in snow and/or ice, several tips are suggested:
1. Wait for the bus at the top of the hill closest to the stop.
2. Signal the bus so the operator has plenty of time to stop.
3. Wait until the bus stops and door opens before approaching.
4. Use handrails when getting on and off the bus.
5. Wear highly visible and warm clothing.
6. Listen to local media sources for information concerning road closures that may affect the bus route, or find updated information on
Call 452-4511 or 800-858-3747.

Clallam County Sheriff’s Office offers the following safe driving tips:
• Be aware of the current weather and driving conditions
• Avoid all unnecessary driving
• Clear snow and ice from all windows and mirrors to ensure clear vision
• Always drive with your headlights on so you can be seen by other drivers
• Slow down and increase your following distance, snow and ice will significantly increase your stopping distance even with four-wheel drive
• Do not use cruise control when driving in snow and icy roadway conditions
• Know the braking system of your vehicle
• Do not pump anti-lock brakes to stop
• Use your brakes sparingly to avoid skidding
• Be aware of snow and ice in shaded areas of the roadway
• Be patient and allow extra time to make your trip.

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