News

Snow no more

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by AMANDA WINTERS
and MATTHEW NASH
Sequim Gazette

The winter wonderland Sequim experienced for a week is gone.

 

Officials with the Sequim Water Reclamation Facility said about 7.75 inches of snow accumulated Sunday, Jan. 14 to Thursday, Jan. 19.

 

For locals the snow created a mixed bag with schools closed Tuesday through Friday following Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and organizations and businesses rescheduling, canceling or closing shop for the snow’s duration.

 

Some residences in Carlsborg experienced power and water outages. Clallam PUD crews worked on snow-related outages in western Clallam County, too. Once services were restored, the PUD sent small teams to other areas in Western Washington to assist in restoring power from larger blackouts.

 

Police Chief Bill Dickinson said there were no major incidents during the snowstorms.

 

“Usually when it snows in the middle of the day we have a big rash of accidents but because it came in overnight there were no major accidents the first day and virtually nothing the next day,” Dickinson said. “Pretty much people stayed home.”

 

No serious crimes were reported due to the weather.

 

One of the most interesting incidents, Dickinson said, was that someone built a snowman in the middle of the Sequim Avenue bypass late one night.

 

“But the snowplow took care of that pretty quickly,” he said.

Clearing roads

Paul Haines, the city’s public works director, said snow removal efforts were fairly routine.

 

“I know any time it snows it feels like an emergent problem, but our staff was awfully good about their work,” Haines said.

 

For three days straight, crews split 12-hour shifts clearing roads and spreading 100 yards of sand, 12 tons of salt, 175 gallons of magnesium chloride before the storm and 450 gallons during and after the storm.

 

The city added a new truck and plow to its vehicles this year, which helped clear side streets and alleys. The city crew’s one hiccup, Haines said, was a complaint from a local business that a plow displaced snow onto a frontage area that the business owner recently had cleared.

 

Haines said they are looking into solutions for that and he’s thankful for residents’ efforts in clearing snow in driveways and in front of businesses.

 

Some trails and paths were cleared at Carrie Blake Park and on the Olympic Discovery Trail. Sand pickup in the city limits will commence this week.

 

Ambulances adequately equipped

Patrick Young, public information officer with Clallam County Fire District 3, said emergency responders weren’t dramatically impacted by the snowstorm.

 

“People have been complying with the request to stay home or to drive cautiously,” he said Jan. 19.

 

The district’s four-wheel drive ambulances, equipped with traction devices to help handle extreme road and weather conditions, assisted Olympic Medical Center’s emergency room in transporting patients to out-of-area hospitals, Young said.

 

On Jan. 19 the fire district received two calls for help in cases where doctors and medical staff felt the patients’ conditions warranted transport to Seattle area hospitals for treatment, he said. Due to road and weather conditions, the hospital was unable to secure transportation for the patients until contacting Fire District 3.

 

During both transports, off-duty members staffed the district while two on-duty staff members responded to the hospital, Young said.

 

“Patient care is our No. 1 priority,” District 3 Medical Services Officer Bryan Swanberg said. “We were able to safely provide quality medical care to those needing transportation without decreasing the response capabilities within the district.”

 

The patients were slowly but safely delivered to the hospitals and the medical staff returned safely to the station after the call, Young said. The transport to Bremerton took 1.5 hours while the trip to Seattle took 4 hours one way.

No flooding

Nearly a foot of snow fell in central Sequim with rains coming this past weekend to wash most of the snow away.

 

Local agencies prepared for possible flooding with few signs of high water. The Dungeness River, which reaches flood stage at 7 feet, rose from 3 to 3.5 feet at its apex on Saturday, Jan. 21, before lowering toward 3 feet on Sunday and Monday.

 

Snow is not forecast for central Sequim in the foreseeable future.
 

See video of the high tide at vimeo.com/35488148
 

Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@sequimgazette.com. Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

 

 

Community Events, April 2014

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