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Caution if driving around King County, dress warm and focus on safety
Due to snow conditions and slick roads, residents are urged to use caution while commuting to work and to telecommute if possible. Individuals should take their time and be patient, and emphasize safety over getting to a destination quickly.
King County Operations: Some King County agencies are reporting altered operations today, Wednesday, January 18.Updated closures are posted online in real time at www.kingcounty.gov. These agencies include:
- Superior Court: Closed on Wednesday, January 18.
- District Court: Closed on Wednesday, January 18.
- Department of Assessments: Office is closed Wednesday, January 18. Online services can be found at www.kingcounty.gov/assessor.
- King County International Airport: Normal operations. Big runway is open, small runway is closed. No impact to airport operations.
- Marymoor Park: Practices and matches scheduled for the synthetic soccer fields at Marymoor Park are canceled for Wednesday, January 18. Please call 206-205-3661. Events booked at the Clise Mansion for January 18 have also been rescheduled or canceled.
- Weyerhaeuser-King County Aquatic Center: Programs are canceled at KCAC until at least 11:30 a.m. on January 18. Please call 206-296-4444 for current operation information.
- Garbage collection service disruptions: Disruptions in garbage collection are being reported in several areas of King County. Customers who are missed on their regular collection day this week are asked to secure their garbage and put it out for collection on their regular day next week. There are several companies providing garbage-collection services throughout King County, and residents are urged to contact their individual hauler for information: http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/garbage-recycling/garbage.asp
- Public Health Centers: Public Health Centers may have limited services. If you plan to get services at a Public Health Center or other Public Health location, please call before you leave home to find out if the service is available. Contact information is available on the Public Health website at www.kingcounty.gov/health.
- Metro Transit: King County Metro Transit will operate with buses on snow routes Wednesday, and some bus routes have been cancelled. As travel conditions deteriorate, please consider limiting travel if at all possible. Check Metro’s snow page (www.kingcounty.gov/metro/snow) for the current status of bus service.
- Online Services Available: King County residents may be able to obtain some services online, such as pet licensing, car tabs, marriage licenses by mail, property tax payments, business licensing and more.
King County Roads
King County road crews remain fully mobilized and continue to plow and sand roads around-the-clock.
As the day progresses, Motorists should be prepared to encounter varying depths of snow. Given these changing conditions, road crews will continue to focus on major arterials and heavily traveled roadways. These roads are considered priorities for county snow and ice response. Depending on the severity of the storm, some roads will be plowed and sanded less often than others.
Given this forecast, motorists should closely monitor weather forecasts and adjust their travel plans as necessary. When heading out, make sure you are prepared for winter driving.
Residents can get a preview of weather conditions by visiting King County's MyCommute website atwww.kingcounty.gov/mycommute. Click on one of 66 traffic cameras situated throughout King County to monitor snow and traffic conditions.
Metro Transit Bus Service
Bus riders should sign up for Transit Alerts to receive notification of route cancellations, but also check the service status before traveling. If there is major snowfall, bus service will be significantly disrupted and delayed. People should avoid traveling if at all possible in those conditions.
Information about Wednesday route cancellations has been added to Metro’s snow page. Before traveling, riders should check either online or by phone (206-553-3000) for the most current status of Metro service.
Check Metro’s snow web page before leaving.
Even though weather and road conditions in the morning may not be bad in your area, delays and service disruptions can occur in other parts of the county that affect bus service in your area. Buses will also be chained, which means they have to travel at slower speeds.
Here are some tips for safe bus travel during these conditions:
- Know the snow routing for your bus route. Check the timetables on Metro Online for snow route maps for each route. Not every bus route has snow routing, but most do;
- When buses are on snow routing, some streets and bus stops may be missed and there are often delays due to travel conditions. Be sure to check the snow routes for all the routes you use most often;
- Sign up for Transit Alerts to keep up with any major changes to bus service. The alerts can be received as email or text messages. Go towww.kingcounty.gov/metro/snow to subscribe;
- Metro uses an online color-coded map to keep riders informed of the status of its bus service, which can be found online at:www.kingcounty.gov/metro/snow. All bus routes are assigned into one or more of seven geographic areas within King County. When there is snow or ice on the roads, the service status of each area will be color coded and displayed on the online map. Green indicates buses are operating on normal routes; yellow that some – but not all – routes in the area are on snow routes (primarily in higher elevation areas); and red tells you that all bus routes in the entire geographic area are on snow routing. Blue is used when the Emergency Service Network (ESN) is in place;
- People without online access can call the Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000 from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays. General information about service will also be sent out via the “kcmetrobus” Twitter account;
- Be patient. Buses are not always on schedule in snowy or icy conditions. And, increased ridership during bad weather can result in crowded buses and a longer-than-usual wait on the phone for the Customer Information Office;
- Dress warmly for the walk to the bus stop, expect delays, and wear appropriate footwear for the weather;
- Head for bus stops on main arterials or at major transfer points such as park-and-ride lots, transit centers, or shopping centers; and
- Riders should wait at bus stops at the very top or very bottom of hills, because buses are often unable to stop for passengers on inclines.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill you. Carbon monoxide gas comes from burning fuels such as gasoline, propane, oil, kerosene, natural gas, coal or wood.
Prevent poisoning from carbon monoxide:
- Only use a generator outdoors and far from open windows and vents
- Never use a generator or portable propane heater indoors, in garages or carports
- Never cook or heat inside on a charcoal or gas grill.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen suddenly and without warning. Physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include splitting headache, nausea and vomiting, and lethargy and fatigue.
If you believe you could be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Call for medical help from a neighbor's home. The Fire Department will tell you when it is safe to reenter the home.
For a full list of carbon monoxide prevention tips and other safety and disaster information in English and other languages, visit www.kingcounty.gov/health/disaster.
Warming Facilities Throughout King County
As warming centers open in King County, including cities within the county, the list will be updated online atwww.kingcounty.gov/prepare.