Managing Snow and Ice
Snow, ice and hills are not always a safe mixture. To address the types of snow and ice events normally experienced in Clyde Hill the City developed a Snow Plan, purchased heavy equipment and trained the Public Works Crew to manage the challenge.
When a snow or ice event has occurred and the PW Crew has been called into action, safe vehicle travel is a primary concern. Snow plowing operations take place when snow accumulates 1.5" or more, or when conditions occur that seriously impact travel. Sanding operations are a top priority during slick or icy road conditions (when the application of sand can help traction.) When the steeper roads become icy and unsafe for travel they are closed until it is safe again. When snow accumulations of an inch or more exist or when snow is accumulating at a rate approximately 1" per hour, sanding operations cease to be effective and are usually stopped.
During a snow/ice event the first priority of the City is to keep the major roads and intersections in a safe drivable condition (24th, 92nd, 12th/84th, Points Drive and 14th east of 92nd); school safety and school routes are addressed as part of this initial consideration (98th, 20th east of 92nd and the 18th/96th area). Secondary roads are next in priority (96th, north part of Aqua Vista, roads west of 92nd, 14th, 15th 16th, 17th, 20th, 86th, 26th, 28th) followed by more local or residential roads and cul-de-sacs. When the crew has a handle on Clyde Hill roads and is requested to do work, the City has an Interlocal Agreement with the Town of Yarrow Point to plow and sand its roads as well.
It is not cost-effective, nor is it reasonable to guarantee that roads will always be bare and safe in every weather event, especially on a hill. The City has planned for and is equipped to address the majority of weather events that normally come this way. Sometimes Mother Nature overwhelms our resources but eventually we have the appropriate guidelines, equipment and manpower to prevail. One reason why the City has a snow plan is to focus limited resources effectively in pre-planned priority areas. As normal practice, the City crews will evaluate its response after every storm and will tweak the Snow Plan when necessary.
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