Snohomish County on 24/7 snow plowing operations, 3000 miles of road cleared so far

EVERETT, Wash., December 26, 2021 – Snohomish County Road Maintenance teams have plowed approximately 3,000 miles of snow since Christmas morning, working four shifts to cover road clearing operations around the clock. So far, 300 tons of sand/salt mix have been applied to approximately 575 miles.

“We are uncertain how much snow we will get before the deep freeze so keeping roads clear and putting down traction is a priority,” said Public Works Director Kelly Snyder. “Crews are doing a great job keeping priority and secondary routes clear. With the potential of more snow, ice and gusty winds, we have tree crews on standby and ready to assist road crews and the PUD as needed.”

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Very low wind chills are likely over the next 24 hours, particularly across Whatcom & San Juan Counties. Frostbite/hypothermia could set in quickly for those unprepared.

Snohomish County crews will continue to plow snow, sand and deice priority routes and secondary routes until temperatures rise and conditions return to normal. Once the snow stops, crews can begin making their way to tertiary streets. Drivers are asked to check their travel routes and options before heading out today or during a snow and ice event.

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For those venturing through unincorporated Snohomish County, visit the Public Works Snow and Ice webpage for road closure information and more. The 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.

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The prioritization of snow and ice routes are based on traffic volume, transit and school bus routes, terrain, and knowledge of problem areas. 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:
  • Snohomish County Road closure/plowing: 425-388-7500
    • Work requests for road plowing will be recorded but will not impact the priority listing during snow and ice events.
  • 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. Have tire chains or traction tires readily available.
  • Keep food, water and medical supplies in your home that will last at least one week. Pay attention to weather reports and plan ahead for even longer periods of time.
  • Follow the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management and Public Works department on Twitter and like Snohomish County on Facebook for the most up-to-date information during an event. 

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

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Snohomish County Road Maintenance crews move to 24/7 operations to keep priority and secondary routes safe and open for travel.

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 www.snohomishcountywa.gov/PublicWorks or follow the department on Facebook and Twitter for more information about Snohomish County Public Works.

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