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City of Seattle reviews impacts of winter weather

A Seattle City Council committee heard from transportation and utilities officials about the impacts of snowfall during the holidays.

SEATTLE — Transportation and utilities officials in Seattle shared the impacts of December's winter storm with a city council committee on Tuesday. 

According to Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and the Department of Transportation (SDOT), major effects included increased potholes, a dozen landslides, a heavy workload for plowing crews, flooding, and sewer back-ups, which departments had to respond to while dealing with the impacts of spreading coronavirus cases on their workforces.

SDOT, SPU, and the City Budget Office have not yet released an aggregate cost or cost breakdowns for the extra overtime and expenses incurred, but data did confirm an increased workload. 

The agencies spoke to the Seattle City Council's Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities Committee. You can view the full committee meeting here:

SPU noted a number of challenges including solid waste service interruption and recovery, flooding and sewer backups, and landslides. In terms of next steps, they stressed continuing to enhance customer communication across multiple platforms, strengthening customer support when recycling is delayed, and gaining internal confirmation on customer support policies, including free station and drop-off options for overflow.

SDOT said its crews worked 24/7 from December 24 to January 5, plowing, treating and patrolling 40,000 miles worth of roads, along with shoveling curb ramps and conducting sidewalk inspections.

One of the continuous issues SDOT has been facing is the prevalence of potholes popping up and recurring even after they're fixed. 

They've amped up their response efforts. The department said normally it sends out four crews a day to fix potholes. For the past few weeks, they've been sending out up to 11 crews a day, including over the weekends. SDOT said it has filled around 5,000 this past month.

RELATED: SDOT prepares for surge in pothole reports following winter storms

RELATED: Snowy weather delays trash pick up for multiple days across western Washington

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