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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Bryan Dominique, (360) 463-3437, or email bryan.dominique@co.thurston.wa.us

24-Hour Snow and Storm Response Continues
Urban Small Stream Flood Advisory in Effect for Thurston County due to Snowmelt

OLYMPIA – Thurston County Public Works crews have continued 24-hour operations to ensure primary roads are safe to travel, and expect to get to secondary roads throughout the County tonight. Crews will begin clearing neighborhood roads as soon as possible. Rain overnight and this morning is causing buildup of heavy snow. Crews are clearing trees and storm drains as they come across them, which may cause a delay in snow plow operations.

Information about roads, including up-to-date information about road closures, snow and ice removal maps, and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the Thurston County Public Works Winter and Storm Response website. The Public Works Department also provides real-time information about roads on twitter @Thurston_PW.

Melting snow in the region increases the chances for flooding. The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued an Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory for snowmelt in Thurston County until 9:30 p.m. tonight. Thurston County Public Works is urging residents and neighborhood groups to clear ice or debris that may clog private storm drains, and if that doesn’t work, to report the blockage to 360-867-2300. Here’s what to do:

• Keep neighborhood storm drains free of ice, snow, and debris.
• Be sure that when you shovel driveways or sidewalks you do not pile snow on top of storm drains.
• Use a shovel to clear the top of the grate of a blocked storm drain, breaking up and removing any built up ice.
• Never remove a storm drain lid or attempt to clean a drain located in a busy street.
• Do not wade into water when you are unsure of the depth.
• Do not attempt to clear storm drains in public streets or high traffic areas.

The heavy snow is also placing a strain on roofs. The combination of heights and ice makes snow removal from roof tops one of the more dangerous house chores. Consider hiring a professional if you notice any of the following signs:

• Sagging roof steel – visually deformed
• Severe roof leaks
• Cracked or split wood members
• Bends or ripples in metal supports
• Cracks in walls or masonry
• Cracks in welds of steel construction
• Sheared off screws from steel frames
• Sprinkler heads pushed down below ceiling tiles
• Water puddles where it never has before
• Doors that pop open
• Doors or windows that are difficult to open
• Bowed utility pipes or conduit attached at ceiling
• Creaking, cracking or popping sounds

Thurston County Emergency Coordination Center

The Thurston County Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) activated at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 9, 2019 in response to the snow and cold weather that impacted the area over the weekend and throughout this week. Over the last 24 hours, the ECC:

• Provided situational awareness between the jurisdictions and County departments and offices
• In coordination with the American Red Cross, CLOSED the shelter at St. John's Episcopal Church, 114 20th Avenue SE, Olympia, due to the warming weather conditions and restoration of power to residences in Thurston County.
• Coordinated Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers to assist in emergent medical transports and worked with the Auditor’s Office to assist with ballot box collections.
• Provided support to Public Works for road clearance operations.
• Provided public information through social media and the Thurston County website.

The ECC will assess the current situation this evening to determine staffing levels. For life threatening emergencies, please call 9-1-1.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3