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Snow in some form is coming

Roads crews say that no matter what happens, they'll be ready with an arsenal of salt-sand and liquid deicer.

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By Bill Sheets
Herald Writer
EVERETT -- Commuters could wake up to enough snow Friday morning to make the drive to work a little tricky.
Up to an inch could fall in the Everett area and other lowlands by daylight, said Dennis D'Amico, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
Or . . .
There might just be a slushy, rain-snow mix that slows things down but isn't much different from plain old rain, he said.
It will depend on where you are, and there's no telling in advance, D'Amico said. Temperatures could be 34 degrees in one area and 38 just down the road.
"It's going to be a showery pattern," he said.
Whatever happens, road crews for Everett, Snohomish County and the state will be ready.
The city of Everett has three plows filled with a salt-sand mix, and can fill its other four in less than 30 minutes if needed, maintenance superintendent Mark Sadler said.
Road crews will get tips from police officers about the worst areas so they'll know where to go, Sadler said.
The streets crew has begun its annual wintertime graveyard shift, with four employees working 11 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., he said. More employees can be called in if necessary.
Snohomish County will have about a half-dozen plows and sanders ready in north county and eight in south county, road maintenance director Roy Scalf said.
The city of Mountlake Terrace is ready as well, spokeswoman Penny Merkley said. The city's fleet includes five trucks equipped with snowplows and sand-salt spreaders and a sixth truck equipped with a liquid deicer applicator.
The county will also have a couple of trucks stationed in Darrington and Granite Falls, Scalf said, which are likely to get more snow than the lowlands.
Areas a couple of hundred feet above sea level or higher -- roughly from Lake Stevens on up -- could receive up to two inches, D'Amico said. The Stevens Pass ski area is expected to open for the season on Saturday, with a couple of inches predicted.
State Department of Transportation crews will be out in force on the mountain passes with plows and trucks equipped with sand, road salt and liquid deicer, officials said.
In the lowlands, state road crews plan to pretreat areas where ice is likely to form first, such as bridges and ramps, and have plows at the ready.
Crews in Western Washington have access to more than 195,000 gallons of liquid deicer and a stockpile of nearly 27,000 tons of sand and road salt, according to the transportation department.
"We're ready for it and we'll be out on the road ready to plow where needed," said Dave McCormick, assistant regional administrator for the department.
More mixed rain and snow could come through Saturday, but probably not as much as Friday morning, D'Amico said. High temperatures will hover around 40 and lows in the low 30s.
A weather system expected to hit the Northwest on Saturday morning appears headed toward Oregon and southwest Washington, D'Amico said.
Temperatures should warm up again by Sunday night, according to the weather service.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439;
Story tags » CommutingTraffic SafetySnow

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