Snow could snarl traffic, delay schools Friday morning

SEATTLE -- State and local crews are preparing for falling snow and a messy commute Friday.

From the state, to Seattle, to King County Road Services, everyone was on standby to pre-treat roads and clear snow starting late Thursday night and into Friday morning.

The Washington State Department of Transportation will be monitoring 450 cameras that show real-time traffic so when the snow starts and there are any problem areas they can get to it as quickly as possible. The agency has 60 snowplows on standby and they have the capability to double the force if needed.

The snow is expected to start in the north, near Belllingham, and move south down the Puget Sound region.

“We will deploy our flusher trucks this evening to lay down 6,000 gallons of salt brine. The salt brine will prevent snow and ice from bonding to the roadway surfaces. Then in the morning, prior to the commute, we will deploy two-thirds of our snowplow fleet to treat the road as salt is needed,” Seattle Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Sheridan said.

“If you do get stranded, make sure you get off the side of the road as best as you can. A couple of years ago, we had some injuries because people got out of their cars, one of our trucks showed up to help them and another car came careening into them,” Chris Johnson of WSDOT said.

King County Road Services, responsible for many of the neighborhood and rural streets, says its funding has been cut by 40 percent. They are concerned that if we get a lot of snow that it will take longer for crews to clear the streets.

Transportation officials are asking people to be aware and be prepared. Have a full tank of gas, get your tires ready and give yourself ample time.