New updates on winter, snow and cold conditions for Tacoma, WA


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Northbound traffic on Interstate 5 maneuvered on the snowy pavement Sunday morning north of Tacoma.

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Here is a summary of the latest news and information regarding the aftermath of Sunday’s snowstorm and persistent freezing temperatures in the Tacoma / Pierce County area.

The latest forecasts

The freezing cold that gripped western Washington and dumped several inches of snow in the city is expected to persist.

“Dangerously cold temperatures” will persist through Wednesday with highs in the 1920s and lows dropping to 15 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

A record 20 degrees was reached at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Sunday. The previous record was 22 degrees in 1948.

In Tacoma, forecasters said Monday would be mostly cloudy with a high near 26. There is a chance of snow throughout the week, but it’s unclear how much will fall if snow returns.

About 2-3 inches of snow fell Sunday night in the Tacoma area, 1-3 inches fell in Olympia and 2-4 inches of snow fell in King County, the weather service said.

Read more.

The latest closures

Metro Parks Tacoma said all facilities will remain closed on Monday, including the gates to Five Mile Drive, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Meadow Park Golf Course.

The Cheney Stadium COVID-19 testing station and Bonney Lake Park & ​​Ride closed Monday due to “inclement weather,” Pierce County tweeted.

Chambers Creek Regional Park and the outdoor spaces of the Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway are also closed.

Crews are working to treat the roads so Fantasy Lights, the county’s Christmas light display, can still open at 5 p.m.

County officials and the Washington State Department of Transportation warned there was compacted snow and ice on the roads and advised drivers to slow down.

Free bus rides to warming centers

Pierce Transit announced on Sunday that it will offer free rides to passengers traveling to warming centers and homeless shelters during the cold temperatures.

Free rides to warming centers and shelters will be offered until December 30 and could be extended if cold weather persists, spokeswoman Rebecca Japhet said in a press release.

Free round trips are available throughout the day. Passengers should tell the bus driver that they are traveling to or from a warm-up center or homeless shelter to be exempt from the fare.

Read more.

Real-time information on the closure of national roads

The Washington State Department of Transportation offers reports on statewide road closures, including a research tool.

You can access it here.

COVID tests affected

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department closed its COVID-19 testing sites on Monday following the weekend snowstorm and sub-freezing temperatures that put western Washington on ice.

Other test sites remain open. Many of them are pharmacies.

“For now, we assume that all pharmacies, if they are still open, are performing testing,” TPCHD spokesman Kenny Via said.

He urged anyone in need of testing for illness caused by the coronavirus to search for locations on the TPCHD website first and then call ahead. The website also shows whether test sites are walk-in or drive-through, whether rapid tests are available, and whether appointments are required.

Open Monday is a site operated by Pierce County Emergency Management. The location at 3003 107th St. S. in Lakewood is drive-in style. No appointment is necessary.

Read more.

Plowing Priorities in Tacoma

Tacoma crews were working Monday to clear city streets after snow blanketed the area over the weekend.

As cold temperatures will persist over the next few days, snow is not going anywhere anytime soon.

If you wait until the road in front of your house is clear, you may be waiting for a while.

City crews clear snow and ice from streets at a priority level, starting with the busiest roads, or “main arteries,” and clearing one lane in each direction. The City’s Street Operations division maintains 410 miles of main streets, including North Pearl, Sixth Avenue, Pacific Avenue, South Tacoma Way, and most downtown streets.

Crews then move to secondary roads, like South 12th Street and South Cedar Street, and then to auxiliary roads like North 11th Street and Port of Tacoma Road.

According to staff, city crews have neither the time nor the manpower to clean residential streets.

A map of the routes is available at cityoftacoma.org/inclementweather.

Read more.

This story was originally published December 27, 2021 11:25 a.m.


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