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Snohomish County Public Works tools and tips for snowstorm preparedness

EVERETT, Wash., December 7, 2021 – Snohomish County staff is reminding residents of some useful tools and helpful tips to prepare for any snow and ice events this winter.

For those venturing through unincorporated Snohomish County, visit the Public Works Snow and Ice webpage for road closure information and more. Public Works’ new snow removal and anti-icing map shows which routes are primary and secondary and allows residents to see what county roads have been recently plowed, sanded or had anti-icing applied.

Public Works Road Maintenance staff will be operating within COVID-19 safety protocol in the field for everyone’s safety. Please remain at least six feet away from Public Works staff.

Road Maintenance is responsible for approximately 1,600 total miles of roads. Multiple snowplow passes and treatments may be required to keep primary routes passable. All other routes will be addressed based on priority, existing resources, and weather conditions. Anti-Icing liquid (Calcium Chloride) will be used in pre-determined areas when weather conditions are appropriate for this type of treatment.

The prioritization of snow and ice routes are based on traffic volume, bus routes, terrain, and knowledge of problem areas. Emergencies affecting life and safety in a winter storm may change these guidelines. The prioritization does not change based on public calls – even multiple calls – requesting service.

During snow/ice weather events, it’s also important to: 

  • Know who to call and when: 
  • Life-threatening emergencies, call 911. 
  • Non-life threatening emergencies: 425-407-3999 
  • Give snowplows and deicer equipment plenty of room to work. Allow for a minimum following distance of 200 feet. 
  • If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the displaced snow and ice, or sand spray. 
  • Vehicles parked along all major arterials and emergency routes must be moved off the street. Those vehicles left in the travel lane of a roadway and blocking traffic may be towed at the owner’s expense. It is recommended for vehicles to be moved when snow is in the forecast. Parking vehicles in the driveway and off the road helps the snowplows finish routes more quickly and efficiently.
  • Residents clearing driveways and snow berms are advised to pile the snow to the left side as you face the house, especially closer to the road. This prevents the snowplow blade from pushing the material back into the driveway. Throwing snow onto the road creates obstructions in the roadway and can be hazardous.
  • Keep drainage inlets near your home clear of leaves and debris during the winter months to help reduce the chance of flooding. 
  • Try to keep garbage bins and other obstacles out of the street when the roads are icy or covered with snow.  
  • Obey road closed signs.
  • Be sure to have vehicles mechanically prepared for cold weather. Four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or higher clearance vehicles reduce problems on secondary roads; have tire chains or traction tires readily available. 
  • Keep food, water and medical supplies in your home that will last up to one week. Be aware of weather reports to plan ahead for even longer periods of time.

Follow Snohomish County departments on social media for the most up-to-date information during an emergency event: 

  • Follow the Department of Emergency Management on Twitter 
  • Like Public Works on Facebook and follow on Twitter      

About Snohomish County Public Works

Snohomish County Public Works is responsible for approximately 1,600 miles of county roads, more than 200 bridges and manages about 200 traffic control signals. The department also processes nearly 600,000 tons of garbage per year. Its mission is to focus on safety and mobility while practicing fiscal responsibility and Snohomish County Public Works preserving the environment. Public Works has won numerous state and national honors for its work and is the largest department within Snohomish County government with approximately 500 employees plus seasonal staff. Its main office is located at 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett, WA 98201.  

Visit or follow the department on Facebook and Twitter for more information about Snohomish County Public Works. 

Content Source: Snohomish County Press Release

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