King County’s arctic weather not over yet

From left

From left

For the most part, Kent residents as of Friday appeared escaped major accidents and injuries during the snowstorm that struck Thursday and Friday.

But the National Weather Service predicted Friday that more snow and winds between 45 and 50 mph could strike by Saturday night, with snow showers and cold temperatures to continue through Tuesday.

“The forecast is not looking good, with temperatures below freezing, as much as 4 inches of snow in the foothills and strong wind,” said Travis Phelps, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, in a phone interview Friday. “Our crews will work 12-hour shifts. We have about 300 people working the Puget Sound area. We’ll do what we can to keep the roads free and open.”

State road crews focus first on the Interstate freeways to make sure those systems are clear before moving to state highways, such as Highway 167 and Highway 516 in Kent.

“If the weather permits, we go to the secondary highways,” Phelps said. “It’s a large system to maintain, so snow and ice could build up.”

On Thursday in unincorporated Kent, a teenage boy sustained non-life threatening injuries in a sled accident at about 2:30 p.m. in the 22600 block of 127th Place Southeast, said Kyle Ohashi, public information officer for the Kent Fire Department and King County Fire District 37.

The teen was riding on a sled towed behind a car. When the car turned a corner, the sled swung out and jammed under the rear bumper of a parked vehicle, Ohashi said.

Paramedics took the boy to a local hospital for treatment. Ohashi did not have an exact age of the boy or an age for the driver.

Other than the sled accident, things stayed pretty calm in the city.

“We’re seeing more accidents, but nothing major,” Ohashi said, regarding Thursday and Friday.

Kent Police reported no additional incidents because of the snow, spokesman Paul Petersen said.

“I live on the East Hill and there’s only a couple of inches of snow,” Petersen said Friday. “The main roads are fine.”

Fewer people were on the freeways and highways Thursday and Friday.

“We had a fair amount of accidents, but a lot of folks stayed home and stayed away,” Phelps said.

State road crews had more than 100 trucks out Thursday night to help clear freeways and highways.

“We’re making some progress,” Phelps, of the DOT, said.

Phelps urged residents to make sure their vehicle is filled with gas before they leave home if they head out in snowy conditions.

“Drivers need to know what they’re getting into before they leave home,” Phelps said.

For information about state and regional road conditions, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/.

For National Weather Service forecasts, go to www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew/.


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