‘Treacherous’ Ice Storm Delays Christmas Journey, Closes Main Roadways Friday 

Chilly climate, automotive crashes, collapsed public works vehicles, highway closures sign begin of weekend

Isabel Vander Stoep / isabel@chronline.com

The night time earlier than Christmas Eve, ice coated all of Lewis County, extending from Packwood to its western border.

On Friday morning, residents throughout the realm acquired a discover from the Lewis County Warning System warning them of a “harmful” scenario and suggested them to not transfer until it was “completely crucial.”

A lot of western Washington noticed between 10 and 1/4 inches of ice in a single day on Thursday, in keeping with the Nationwide Climate Service (NWS) Forecast Service in Seattle. Meteorologist Samantha Bose mentioned Friday morning’s climate forecast had continued all morning.There hadn’t been an ice storm of this magnitude within the space since 2012, she mentioned.

A winter storm warning was in impact Thursday by means of Friday night time. Temperatures within the 20s have been recorded at Chehalis-Centralia Airport from 4:35 pm Wednesday to 10:35 am Friday. Bose mentioned temperatures will heat by means of Friday afternoon and night, reaching round 45 levels Celsius close to midnight, together with potential rain and melting ice.

About 1,000 Lewis County Public Utility District (PUD) prospects within the Ashford space and 400 within the Mosilok space skilled an influence outage late Thursday night time, spokesperson Daniel Hargrove mentioned. Crew members have been capable of shortly restore energy to these areas, he mentioned, including that as of Friday morning, solely 18 of his prospects in Mosilok had skilled an influence outage.

“It was a blessing,” mentioned Hargrove.

Centralia Metropolis Mild didn’t see an influence outage as of Friday.

The Washington State Division of Transportation (WSDOT) closed U.S. Route 12, State Route 508 and State Route 7 Friday morning, affecting vacationers all through Lewis County.

Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza mentioned he had responded to greater than a dozen vehicular accidents by 11 a.m. Friday, saying Lewis County Public Works couldn’t attain many areas to distribute sand. He added that the roads have been within the worst situation he had witnessed. .

Public Works Director Josh Metcalfe mentioned after sending employees out onto the highway round 4 a.m. Friday, his crew discovered the roads weren’t protected for work vehicles to journey, so that they despatched everybody to work. We mentioned we determined to revert.

Metcalfe suggested vacationers to test the county’s Public Works and Emergency Administration Fb web page for updates on the scenario. Even with the climate getting hotter all day, he mentioned the less individuals on the highway the higher.

“The much less site visitors there may be, the extra work the crew can do safely,” he mentioned.

Round 2 a.m. Friday, public works crews answered a name a few fallen tree on Cispus Highway in Randle and totaled it when a tree fell on prime of a county truck.

“That is the chance of a midnight callout,” he mentioned. “No accidents, however the truck is a complete loss. …The truck is replaceable.

The NWS will intently monitor the Chehalis River all through the following week as Bose warns of heavy rains and melting ice and an elevated probability of flooding. Ross McDowell, of the Lewis County Emergency Administration Division, mentioned the realm is “impossible” to expertise main flooding over the following week, however a mixture of heavy rains and thaw might trigger Rundle’s Cowlitz flooding. He mentioned he was intently monitoring the river. rise.

McDowell mentioned his largest concern about Chehalis was the presence of “king tides” on the coast, which might again up currents downstream in Grays Harbor County.

The Lewis County workplace, together with the Superior Courtroom, was closed for the day on Friday as a result of workers have been unable to journey.

Ice rain happens when a heat layer of the environment meets a colder layer in entrance of the floor, versus snow, Bose mentioned.

For our Emergency Administration Fb web page, please go to https://www.fb.com/profile.php?id=100072464765616.Join textual content or e mail alerts from the county at https://lewiscountywa.gov/departments/emergency-management/lewis-county-alert/.

Author: ZeroToHero

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