OLYMPIA – The National Weather Service is predicting freezing temperatures with a high probability of snow for the region, beginning Thursday, February 11. Temperatures will be at or below freezing from Thursday, February 11, through Sunday, February 14, with Thurston County expecting to see anywhere from four to eight inches of snow.
As of 10:00 a.m. this morning, the National Weather Service projects the snow fall in Thurston County at two to three inches from Thursday morning through 4:00 p.m. Friday, and four to six inches from Friday evening through Saturday afternoon.
The frigid weather and potential for snow is dangerous for those without shelter. Therefore, Thurston County has declared a four-night Hazardous Weather Event, beginning today and lasting through Sunday. To learn more, including information on available shelters and warming centers, visit www.thurstoncountywa.gov.
Thurston County Emergency Management encourages you to monitor local weather forecasts and sign up for Thurston Community Alert at www.tcalert.org. During the weather event, Thurston County Emergency Management advises residents take the following precautions.
- In the event of a power outage, do not run a generator or burn charcoal in an enclosed space. Never operate an unvented gas-burning appliance in a closed room or a room you are sleeping in. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide buildup from burning charcoal or a running generator.
- Do not walk across or touch downed power lines.
- Avoid overexertion. Pace yourself when shoveling snow.
- Clear flat roofs of snow.
- Check on elderly friends and neighbors—before, during, and after extreme weather events.
- Avoid driving in snowy or icy conditions. If you must drive, keep an emergency kit in your car that includes bottled water and high energy, non-perishable food, an extra blanket, warm clothes, a battery-powered flashlight, and extra batteries. Also, please let a friend or relative know when you're leaving, your destination, and when you expect to arrive.
- Protect your pets and livestock by keeping them hydrated and sheltered from the cold.
- Keep a battery-powered radio and extra batteries handy.
Additional details on winter preparedness is available at www.thurstoncountywa.gov/em. You can also follow Thurston County Emergency Management on Facebook at /ThurstonEM and Twitter @ThurstonEM for the latest updates.
If you experience a power outage, or want to report an outage, please contact Puget Sound Energy directly at 1-888-225-5773. You can also report an outage online or view the outage map.
In preparation for the winter weather, maintenance crews with Thurston County Public Works have been proactively applying deicer on major arterial roadways, loading sanders in trucks, and keeping deicer storage at maximum capacity. In addition, crews have been stationing deicers, sanders, and snowplows at out-lying stations to ensure a quick response.
County arterials providing access to state highways and critical facilities such as hospitals and fire stations will be cleared first, including Old Highway 99, Littlerock Road, Martin Way, Yelm Highway, and others. Secondary connecting roads are cleared second. After priority and secondary routes are cleared, crews will address residential routes; however, crews do not plow subdivisions, private roads, or driveways.
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 webpage. The Public Works Department also provides real-time information about roads on twitter @Thurston_PW.
In the event of significant snow accumulations, the best option for residents is to stay at home. However, if traveling is necessary, make sure to drive with adequate snow tires or chains and remember to stay a safe distance away from snowplows operating on roads.