From a November 18, 2019, Snohomish County news release.
With last winter's snow events still in our minds, Snohomish County staff is reminding commuters of some useful tools and helpful tips should an event arrive in the coming months.
For those venturing through unincorporated Snohomish County, visit the Public Works Snow and Ice webpage for snowplow and sander priority routes, and road closure information.
The prioritization of snow and ice routes are based on traffic volume, transit and school bus routes, terrain, and knowledge of problem areas. Emergencies affecting life and property in a winter storm may change these guidelines. The prioritization does not change based on public calls – even multiple calls – requesting service.
The Public Works Road Maintenance Division is responsible for approximately 1,650 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-icer will be used when and where it makes sense.
During snow/ice weather events, it’s also important to:
- Know who to call and when: Life-threatening emergencies, call 911; and Non-life threatening emergencies: 425-407-3999
- Give snowplows and deicers plenty of room to work. Allow for a minimum following distance of 200 feet from the plows and deicers while they are working.
- 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. It is recommended for them to be moved when snow is in the forecast. Parking vehicles in the driveway and off of the road helps the progress of snowplow operators to complete routes quicker and more 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.