Icy conditions grip area, some bus routes canceled


by KING 5 News


Posted on November 19, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 23 at 10:59 AM

Conditions are changing by the minute. For the most updated information, click here for our live blog.

SEATTLE – The sun is shining, but the aftermath of Western Washington's first significant snowfall of the season is causing more commuter problems this morning. Below freezing temperatures are causing very icy conditions.

A multi-vehicle accident, including a Metro bus, two semi-trucks and five cars, blocked southbound lanes on Interstate 5  at Lake City Way in Seattle. The accident occurred at about 10:30 p.m. Monday night and work to clear the vehicles was continuing at 6 a.m.

Early Tuesday, Metro transit canceled 14 routes because of icy roads and abandoned cars blocking roadways. All other buses are operating on snow routes and riders should expect them to be crowded and significantly delayed. Bus riders should check www.kingcounty.gov/metro/snow for the most current status.

Mason Transit suspended all of its Mason Transit Routes and Dial-A-Ride services. The transit company will update the situation at about 10:00 a.m.

Sound Transit was reporting a few bus route delays on its website.

Community Transit has rerouted several of its buses. Riders should check www.communitytransit.org for information.

The icy conditions are having an impact on Alaska Airlines. Alaska says treacherous road conditions from the snowstorm are preventing many of its employees from getting to work at Sea-Tac Airport. That's affecting a number of Alaska Airlines flights. Passengers are strongly advised to check alaskaair.com before going to the airport to determine whether their flight is delayed or has been canceled. 

Check the forecast

Monday's storm made traffic a mess in the Puget Sound area, leading to at least one death and causing major delays for incoming flights at Sea-Tac Airport.

The worst nightmare Monday night was southbound I-5 from Seattle down through the Duwamish Curve in Tukwila. Some people were at a standstill for at least six hours because of two collisions. It wasn't until about 11 p.m. that the Washington state Department of Transportation was able to open two lanes.

One of the drivers stuck in that was a woman named Brandi, who is seven months pregnant. She said some people got out of their cars to stretch their legs. She said after five hours, she was still 23 miles to go to her home in Federal Way.

Check your traffic

Numerous power outages were reported Monday night, most of them in Kitsap County due to the strong winds.

While the snow is showing signs of moving out, the bitter cold is sticking around at least for another day, made worse by the winds.

KING 5  Meteorologist Rich Marriot says the skies will clear and the snow will diminish on Tuesday, however temperatures will remain low, in the mid-teens to low 20s. A potential for morning snow awaits the area on Wednesday.

Whether it was highways or side streets, navigating around the Puget Sound area was a nightmare. On more than one occasion, eastbound I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass was closed Monday due to winter conditions and spun out vehicles. Up and down the I-5 corridor, there were numerous accidents that shut down part or all of the freeway at times. In Tacoma, a man standing outside of his car on I-5 was hit and killed.

Several freeway ramps were also closed after vehicles got trapped.

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In Seattle, where residents were watching closely for improvements after the 2008 debacle, several side streets were shut down. In some cases, that wasn't enough as demonstrated by this video of one car sliding into the back of another. Some people in West Seattle gave on trying to navigate the hills and just parked their cars.

Some people in West Seattle gave on trying to navigate the hills and just parked their cars.

At Sea-Tac Airport, a cargo plane overshot the icy runway by about 100 feet. While it still remained on pavement, it was enough for the airport to place a ground delay on incoming flights, delaying them by as much as four hours.

Garbage pickup may be delayed. There will be no service for Waste Management residential or commercial customers in Bremerton, Port Orchard or other parts of Kitsap County on Tuesday, Nov 23.
Service was delayed Monday in parts of King, Snohomish, Skagit and Island counties. If you did not receive service, please remove containers from the street.Click here for more information from Waste Management.