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City of Seattle Update on Winter Weather Planning, Impacts, and City Services

Seattle (February 12, 2019) – The City continues to work to limit the impact of winter weather on residents and ensure access to critical services. The City is closely monitoring National Weather Service forecasts as the current storm continues with steady precipitation through mid-day, turning showery through Wednesday, and cold temperatures allow for refreeze during the overnight hours, potentially creating icy/hazardous conditions.

Residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertSeattle for updates and emergency notifications.

Seattle Department of Transportation: SDOT crews continue to work back to back 12-hour shifts to clear major streets and keep transit moving. SDOT currently has 36 snow and ice fighting trucks pushing slush to curbs and clearing bus stops. Winter response crews continue to prioritize keeping Gold and Emerald routes clear and responding to trouble spots. In addition, two SDOT tree crews and contractor tree crews are on duty and responding to calls for downed trees and branches. SDOT is expecting tree-related calls to continue over the next 24 hours. Several calls were received overnight for trees on major arterials such as California Ave SW and Admiral Way SW, which were cleared. SDOT assisted Metro overnight to clear dozens of stuck coaches and is actively sending response crews as needed to keep buses moving. Street closure inspection and reporting teams are also on a 12-hour shift and continue checking the status of street closure signs. SDOT has dispatched crews to move snow from drains in several locations in coordination with SPU. SDOT pedestrian crews are clearing sidewalks on bridges and curb ramps, concentrating on the central business districts and other transportation hubs. SDOT will transition crews to address streets near schools later in the day. Check out the City’s Winter Weather Response Map to locate SDOT’s snow and ice routes. And be sure to take a peek at the interactive Winter Weather Snow and Ice Service Map to monitor treatment status of snow routes and lanes.

Human Services Department: The City of Seattle has opened more than 550 emergency shelter beds during the snowstorms this month. The City will continue to operate the Severe Weather Shelter at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall and the Armory warming center through Monday, February 18. 229 people stayed at the shelter overnight on Monday, February 11th. HSD and Mary’s Place partnered to open a downtown emergency shelter for families which will remain open through the storms this week. Please call the King County Coordinated Family Intake Line at 206-245-1026 for access or drop in at 312 Dexter Ave N. This space is open for 24 hours per day and served 20 people overnight Monday. Seattle Parks and Recreation and HSD opened a 24-hour warming shelter for families with children and others at Garfield Community Center (2323 E. Cherry St) that will operate through the morning of Monday, February 18, 116 individuals stayed at the Garfield Community Center Monday evening. This space is open 24 hours a day. Bitter Lake Community Center (13035 Linden Ave N) was also opened by Seattle Parks and HSD last night as an additional emergency overnight shelter for families with children and anyone living unsheltered in the north end of Seattle, 23 individuals stayed overnight last night. This emergency shelter will be open through the morning of Monday, February 18. Seattle’s City Hall upper shelter (600 4th Ave) hosted 59 people on Monday, February 11. King County’s Department of Community and Human Services served 100 people last night at the King County Administration Building (500 4th Ave) and the Day Center at 4th and Jefferson downtown. Both facilities are open all day to act as warming centers. Further, HSD and Low Income Housing Institute opened up the lobby of Ernestine Anderson Place (2010 S Jackson St) last night to accommodate additional overflow from emergency shelters, with 11 individuals staying over Monday night. This resource will remain open 24 hours a day through Monday, February 18. The Navigation Team was out overnight checking on people living unsheltered and helped over 24 people travel to shelter last night and made 229 contacts. They also distributed gloves, hats, socks, and food to those not wanting to come inside. HSD has been coordinating medical care to overnight emergency shelters and is working with service providers to develop exit plans for people staying in these spaces. Plans include assessing individuals for housing placements, matching people with other service needs, and potentially utilizing short-term motel resources to provide additional time to connect individuals with housing options. In addition, HSD staff continue to check in with about 200 high-risk Aging and Disability Services clients to ensure their safety. These individuals are unable to care for themselves and rely on HSD’s network to meet their daily needs.

Seattle Center: Seattle Center Armory is open today until 9pm. Seattle Center Monorail will operate until 8pm, weather permitting. Seattle Children’s Theatre has canceled drama classes for the day. MoPOP will be open 12 noon to 5pm. Pacific Science Center is open until 5pm today, however, it has canceled Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center classes, and Science in the City has been rescheduled for April 2.

Customer Service Centers: All customer service centers are open today. The Lake City location will close for lunch from 1-2 p.m., and the University location will close for lunch from 2-3 p.m. The Southwest Customer Service Center will close early at 2 p.m.

Seattle Animal Shelter: Due to challenging road conditions, animal control officers are prioritizing their response to high-level calls. Common calls they receive are about animals kept outdoors with inadequate shelter, food and water. These cold-weather conditions can be life-threatening, even for animals who are used to being outside, if they don’t have access to dry shelter and potable, unfrozen water at all times. In these extreme temperature s and conditions, the Seattle Animal Shelter recommends animals be kept inside. When that is not possible, at a minimum animals will need:

  • Extra bedding such as a thick layer of fresh straw or other material to help them maintain body heat.
  • Elevated housing on a porch, in a garage or otherwise off the wet ground as the snow melts and water pools in yards.
  • Housing that protects from the wind and rain.
  • Fresh, unfrozen water checked frequently.

Seattle Public Libraries: Seattle Public Libraries are operating on the following modified schedule:

  • The following locations will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Central Library
  • The following locations will be open noon to 6 p.m.: Ballard, Beacon Hill, Broadview, Capitol Hill, Columbia, Douglass-Truth, Greenwood, Lake City, Northeast, Northgate, Rainier Beach, Southwest, West Seattle
  • The following locations will be open 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Delridge, Green Lake, High Point, International District/Chinatown, Magnolia, Montlake, NewHolly, Queen Anne, South Park, Wallingford
  • The following branches will remain closed all day: Fremont, Madrona-Sally Goldmark, and University
  • Book drops are open at most locations however we will extend due dates and holds until Feb 19.

Please visit www.spl.org for operating hours at your nearby branch, as hours may change based on conditions.

Seattle Public Utilities: Crews running multi-family and commercial trucks will pick up accessible garbage, recycling, and yard & food waste. Because of continued snow and ice on residential streets, crews are unable to collect garbage, recycling and food/yard waste today from our Monday customers. Our Monday customers are now our priority for pickup so if conditions allow, their waste will be picked up tomorrow. Customers can set out additional bags free of charge. Tuesday through Friday customers will be collected on a delayed schedule and services will be extended through the weekend. The city will allow free disposal of residents’ garbage, recycling or food/yard waste at City stations February 13-16th for any residential customers whose collections have been delayed more than a week. For more information, please visit: https://atyourservice.seattle.gov/2019/02/06/solid-waste-collection-resumes-feb-6/.

Seattle City Light: As of 12:00 p.m., Seattle City Light is responding to 143 active power outages affecting 4,899 people across the utility’s service area. The snow/rain mix of last night and this morning is washing snowfall off burdened tree limbs, causing service interruptions as the vegetation springs back up into power lines. City Light is dealing with numerous small, localized outages related to this weather phenomena. If customers see a downed power line, they should call 206-684-3000 to report it. Call 911 if the downed line is smoking and/or sparking. Due to the snowy, slushy road conditions, City Light crews aren’t able to respond as quickly as usual. Please be patient as our crews get to everyone. Here’s how the utility prioritizes power restoration: 1️- Life Safety, 2️- Emergency Services, and 3️- Customers and Residents. Customers that are experiencing an outage may report it at 206.684.300. For those that don’t have heat due to an outage, read how to stay safe and warm here. Track system outages with City Light’s System Status map: http://www.seattle.gov/light/sysstat/. Estimated times of restoration are difficult to keep updated during a storm response of this magnitude. If your outage is lacking an updated estimate, check the map again in 30 minutes. Crews will provide a new estimated time of restoration as soon as possible. City Light crews won’t stop working until everyone in the service area has power. If your power is out, be assured that help is on the way! Follow Seattle City Light on Twitter for outage tips and updates:@SEACityLight.

Seattle Parks and Recreation: Seattle Parks and Recreation programs and school-age programs are canceled. Most community centers and pools are open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for drop-in use. Click here for details. The Garfield Community Center (2323 E. Cherry St.) and Bitter Lake Community Center (13035 Linden Ave. N.) are both open as severe weather shelters. Both shelters are operating 24 hours a day through the morning of Monday, February 18. Parks are open; however, we encourage visitors to use caution. Snow and ice can cause tree branches to snap. Please stay out from under trees and avoid forested park areas during the current weather conditions.

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods: The City of Seattle/University of Washington Committee Advisory Committee (CUCAC) scheduled for 6:30 p.m. is canceled. The International Special Review District Committee meeting scheduled for 4:30 p.m. has been canceled.

Office of Economic Development and Office of Film + Music and Special Events: There are no walk-in appointments available today.

Office of Housing: The Community Preference Discussion (Housing Preferences for Inclusive Communities) scheduled for Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at the Centilia Cultural Community Center, located at 1660 S Roberto Maestas Festival Street, from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. is cancelled. The meeting will be rescheduled. Details of the date, time and location of the rescheduled meeting will be emailed to those on the meeting RSVP list and on Facebook and Twitter.

Seattle Preschool Program:Preschools at Seattle Public Schools are closed today. For community-based preschool sites, follow your preschools inclement weather policy.

Seattle Fire Department: No current impacts to services provided to the public. All SFD apparatus are operating with chains on tires.

Seattle Municipal Courts: Seattle Municipal Court will be closed to the public today. They are planning to hold as scheduled the in-custody arraignment calendar in King County Jail Courtroom 2. Jurors should not report today and plan to report tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. Jurors who are not able to report tomorrow should notify the Jury Coordinator at (206) 684-5688.

City Council: The City Council has canceled all committee meetings.

General Winter Weather Tips for Residents:

  • If you can possibly avoid it, do not drive. If you must drive, please take your time, slow down, leave lots of room, and stay safe. Prepare your car with emergency supplies and chains or other traction devices. Remember bridges and raised roadways are likely to be icy, even when the roads are not.
  • Keep warm winter clothing at the ready: gloves/mittens; hats; heavy coats; sweaters; long underwear; heavy socks.
  • Have nonperishable food on hand that does not need to be heated.
  • Make sure you have adequate propane/charcoal briquettes for barbeques/camping stoves that can be used to heat food outdoors. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, keep electric generators and barbecue grills outdoors and away from your house or apartment.
  • Keep water dripping from faucets so pipes don’t freeze.
  • If you are concerned about an individual living unsheltered, or in need, call 2-1-1 a resource line that can help connect an individual to resources. When the 2-1-1 line isn’t open, the 24-hour Crisis Line 866-427-4747 can provide information that the City provides on warming shelters, similar to how they do for sheltering information for people experiencing homelessness. If it is an emergency, contact Seattle Police by calling 9-1-1. SPD has transport vans to take people to warming centers and shelters.
  • If you see a downed power line, please keep a safe distance (at least 20 feet) and report it to (206) 684-3000. If it appears to be sparking or smoking, call 911. Thanks for your help in spreading the word. Learn more here: http://www.seattle.gov/light/sysstat/whenpowerout.asp.
  • Never use a grill, charcoal, or generator indoors, in garages, or in carports. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly.

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