A powerful storm hit the Pacific Northwest Thursday, leaving about 250,000 electric customers with out power. Seattle weather is usually wet and mild, but not heavy snow like they experienced this week.
Nicknamed, Snowmageddon, the first snow storm hit Seattle on Tuesday night and on Thursday, they experienced icy rain. On Friday, the National Weather Service said with warming temperatures, it should melt the snow and ice, but will cause flooding. Also rain is forecasted into next week.
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire declared a state of emergency, authorizing the use of National Guard troops if necessary.
Spokane officials declared a snow emergency beginning Thursday evening which bans parking along arterials and bus routes. The City of Seattle asked people to get home before dark if possible, because icy conditions are worse at nightfall. Also authorities told pedestrians to be extra careful on sidewalks and to watch out for falling ice from trees, buildings and power lines.
It’s still snowing in the Cascades, with up to 2 feet possible in the mountains over the weekend and in Eastern Washington it’s forecasted for more freezing rain and snow before it warms up on Saturday.
The icy roads caused crashes on parts of Washington on Thursday. On Interstate 90 near the town of Cle Elum, six semi-trailer trucks were involved in a collision that blocked the major Interstate through the Cascade Range of mountains, said Kandi Patrick of the Washington State Patrol.
The snowy and icy Seattle weather temporarily shut down Seattle’s airport on Thursday. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air canceled 310 flights to and from Seattle Thursday and Alaska Air said it was canceling 50 flights on Friday.
Record-setting daily snowfall of 6.8 inches was measured early Thursday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, shattering the 1954 record of 2.9 inches, said meteorologist Dan DePodwin on Accuweather.com.
With trees down on the railroad tracks and the threat of more falling due to the icy Seattle weather, it forced Amtrak officials to close service between Portland and Seattle on Thursday morning. The closure of Amtrak continued into Friday.
The National Weather Service reported that the last widespread freezing rain in Seattle was in December 1996.