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Lynnwood Public Works prepares for another season of winter weather

LYNNWOOD, Wash., December 15, 2023—The Lynnwood Public Works Department has been diligently preparing for another year of winter weather and are ready to mobilize in the case of harsh conditions whether wind, rain, or snow.

The city’s newly named snowplow, “Clearapathra,” joins “Snobi Wan Kenobi,” and “Plowy McPlowface” to clear streets as needed and apply de-icer and sand during the event of heavy snow.

winter weather
Picture from Name that Snow Plow Lynnwood, reveal on January 24, 2022. SOURCE: City of Lynnwood.

The city also has an updated snowplow route prioritizing Highway 99, 44th Avenue West, 212th Street Southwest, 196th Street, 68th Avenue West, 76th Avenue West, Olympic View Drive, 188th Street Southwest, 184th Street Southwest, Maple Road, and Alderwood Mall Parkway. For a complete route, which includes lower priority streets, visit: https://www.lynnwoodwa.gov/StreetMaintenance

The city says its highest priority is plowing and sanding major arterials so that emergency first responders (Police, Fire and Public Works) can get in and around the city to provide essential services and keep the city operational.

winter weather
Lynnwood Public Works’ city road maintenance priorities during a snow event. SOURCE: City of Lynnwood.

The Public Works Department also has its own brining system which allows it to make its own de-icer mix. In the past, the city used a solution of CCB (calcium chloride with boost) but city officials say a salt brine is less environmentally toxic and easy to make as needed (consisting of just rock salt and water).

The tank has a motor and a pump that mixes the salt and water to a salinity of 23.3%. Once the solution is at this ratio, the city fills its trucks and applies it to the priority routes previously listed.

“At the 23.3% ratio, the salt stays suspended in the water and works great for pre and post-treatment of snow and ice. We will also use this salt brine solution to prewet our aggregate materials to help prevent the bounce and scatter off the roadway,” said Nathan MacDonald, Lynnwood Manager of Communications and Public Affairs.

In the event of harsh winter storm-related weather, Lynnwood residents and businesses are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to and on their property. This also includes driveways, parking lots and other areas. The city encourages all residents to do their part to help keep our sidewalks clear and safe this winter.

What can the Community do to help prepare for winter weather conditions?

  • Cover and wrap hose bibs in the front and back of your house to prevent freezing pipes.
  • Remove debris such as leaves and packed snow from storm drains. This will help alleviate drainage problems along roadways and prevent flooding or melted snow from refreezing.
  • After a heavy rainfall our storm drains can be overloaded; avoid driving through water on the roadways and in parking lots. The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and attempting to drive through water may also damage your engine.
  • Prepare a 3-day emergency kit. Now is the time to gather emergency items such as enough food and water for your family for three days, flashlights and batteries, first-aid supplies, pet food, and other essential comfort items. For useful tips visit www.ready.gov.
  • Use extreme caution while driving in inclement weather of any kind. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, always yield to service vehicles such as plows, sanders, and transit buses, and avoid driving through large amounts of water. And, if you don’t have to go out when the roads are dangerous, please don’t!

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