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Capitol Hill SNOWBRUARY 2019 Open Thread — UPDATE: Videos and pictures from the snowy night

UPDATE 2/9/19 7 AM: More than a half foot of snow fell on Capitol Hill overnight in a two stage snowstorm that at first seemed to be falling short of expectations.

But with snow steadily dumping, CHS found the Hill in full snow motion by 11 PM Friday with snowball fights and sledding everywhere you turned.

Things will probably be a little more sober Saturday. King County Metro has shifted to its Emergency Snow Network which leaves only a core number of Hill-serving routes moving including the 10 and the special, snow-only 90.

Meanwhile, Capitol Hill Station and Sound Transit’s light rail remain fully operational.

If you see somebody who appears to be cold and in need of assistance, authorities said Friday that increased shuttle services would be available through the weekend to help get people to shelters. You can call 9-1-1 to help.

Snow is predicted to taper off through the morning with a chilly and windy day ahead.

There are reports of wires down and large branches falling across the area but so far any power outages have been limited to individual buildings and residences.

Many streets across Capitol Hill and the Central District are closed or impassable. The city’s snow response map shows many of the updates — but not all. Reported trouble spots and closures included E Crescent, E Aloha at 13th, some areas along Bellevue Ave E, upper E Olive Way, and Boren near Pike. Denny was closed but that didn’t stop some drivers from making the attempt.

Meanwhile, early morning clearance work emphasized 23rd Ave, E Union between First Hill and the Central District, 15th Ave E and E John hill between Broadway and 15th, Broadway, 10th Ave E and stretches of 12th, Belmont Ave E, A E Aloha. If you have reports from the streets, let us know in comments.

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UPDATE 2/9/19 12:45 PM: It began right on schedule. A steady swirl of big white snowflakes began falling on Capitol Hill just after 12:30 PM. The forecast is calling for many inches more to come.

CHS will keep things up to date as this Snowbruary 2019 bout of winter weather plays out across Capitol Hill and the Seattle region.  See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

Seattle is set to be walloped by heavy snow with the biggest push coming sometime after 3 PM and lasting into the night. Forecasts for the Seattle area remain in the 6 inches and up zone with a cold and blustery weekend to follow. A winter storm warning has been issued through Saturday afternoon. Chances of snow continue through next week with highs topping out just above freezing.

UPDATE 1:25 PM: Street traffic on, off, and across the Hill is backing up on main routes like 12th Ave and Broadway. Snow and ice aren’t the problem… yet.

UPDATE 4:15 PM: With thick snow building up in parks and on lawns, Capitol Hill’s main routes remain passable but the slush and snow is building. Earlier issues with slipping buses on E John didn’t linger fortunately. The earlier traffic crush seemed to have mostly subsided as people made their way home or stopped at stores where lines were shorter and shelves still pretty well picked over.

As for the snowfall, there will be a few breaks here and there but expect bands of snow showers to continue into the evening and accumulations to increase.

With surface temperatures already low, the snow and ice is expected to build up a little more solidly than normal and more freezing temperatures — and more snow — could mean a long period of frozen parks, streets, and sidewalks across Capitol Hill. SDOT has posted more about its planned response to snow and ice — and how you can help keep sidewalks clear. One challenge is a lack of supplies to melt snow and ice. The Broadway Business Improvement Area said Friday its contractor has been unable to keep the area’s sidewalks clear because of a lack of de-icer. In a pinch, various types of salt and sand will work if you want to lend a hand.

SDOT says streets — and sidewalks — along gold and green routes (PDF) will be prioritized for clearing during the storm. The city’s Travelers Map is also a useful link for tracking changing conditions. King County Metro’s snow routes map and updates are here. The FAA’s Sea-Tac status page is here.

Seattle Police say they are adding additional emergency services during the storm with dedicated transport vans to take people to shelters. Services will be available citywide through Wednesday. SPD says to call 911 if you believe someone is cold and in need. The Seattle Times is reporting that a 59-year-old died of exposure at the SoDo light rail station Thursday morning during the freezing temperatures. Garfield Community Center has also opened as a warming shelter for families in the Central District.

Thursday night, a run on groceries at markets across the area left many shelves empty. Friday brought some restocking but Capitol HIll’s QFCs, for example, still looked like war zones. Changed schedules and cancellations are the norm. Schools let out an hour early Friday and most public facilities will be closed through the weekend. Authorities are asking people to avoid driving and stay home as much as possible.

During the earlier bout of winter cold this week, many businesses were closed or closed early because of the snow and ice but there were also plenty of cafes, restaurants, and shops with workers who braved the elements to come in and open up. A warm cafe with a good cup of coffee was a testament to the neighborhood’s walkability and public transit — and also, of course, next month’s rent. Check social media before heading out. Most of the Hill’s businesses and venues are posting updates on their plans for the weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a “ winter stormwarning” meaning “severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible.”

Social media is also a useful tool for keeping up to date on the conditions. Here are a few useful Twitter accounts:

You can also check the CHS Street Cams page before you head out. And the CHS Weather page has the latest reports from local observations. See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959.

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13 thoughts on “Capitol Hill SNOWBRUARY 2019 Open Thread — UPDATE: Videos and pictures from the snowy night

  1. Don’t think anyone’s mentioned this yet but with possible periods of higher winds I imagine drifting will increase the snow to difficult depths in places. I’d count on dealing with more than than the reported inches.

  2. QFC on Broadway put up a sign saying they are closing at 11 PM tonight and not opening until 7 AM. Lines were very long, but fast moving due to the large number of self-checkout kiosks.

    • The geniuses in front of my house were even tailgating each other up the hill 3 in a row. The lightbulb went on for car #2 when car #1 started to slip. ~derp~