Snow arrives but accidents few on local, state roads
November 22, 2010 · Updated 11:46 AM
For frequent updates, visit the the Bellevue Reporter's twitter account
UPDATE, 11:10 a.m.Bellevue College will close its campus at 12:30 p.m., citing a winter storm warning as the cause.
UPDATE, 10:45 a.m. All after-school activities have been canceled by the Bellevue School District, citing poor weather conditions
Temperatures below freezing, high wind gusts and snowy conditions continue to slow traffic throughout the county, especially on major highways.
Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Sandy Lam said both directions of State Route 520 have been heavily congested all morning as the snow poured down.
Interstates 90 and 405 are also heavy, she said, but no major accidents have occurred.
Monday is expected to be the primary snow day during this weather system, said National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis D-Amico. NWS has put the Puget Sound Region on a winter storm warning, with the possibility that between two and six inches of snow may accumulate throughout the day in the region.
"Today is the main day, and tonight as well," he said Monday morning. "It's possible that we could see maybe a little bit of snow later this week, but right now, this is the big storm for sure."
The snow is expected to calm, but temperatures are predicted to remain low throughout the week.
With continuing low temperatures, high winds (with gusts possibly as high as 40 mph) and moisture on the ground, the concern becomes the roads icing over. Icy conditions may impact the evening commute. Lam said highway entrances and exits and bridges are often the most dangerous.
Bellevue has been free of accidents thus far, said Susan Fife-Ferris from Bellevue's Utilities Department.
The city's 14 plows have cleared major arterials and are clearing and sanding other streets throughout the city. Fife-Ferris said she hasn't received any reports of blockages of roads in town. The worst conditions exist in the southern portion of Bellevue, at higher elevations south of I-90
Traffic officials recommend staying off the roads if possible.
"It's icy and cold, and we've been telling people it's pretty treacherous right," Fife-Ferris said. "We're advising people delay their trips if possible."