Snow Event 2019

Mill Creek Snow Event 2019
Posted on 02/13/2019
An image calling out the Mill Creek Snow Event City employees from Police, Public Works, and Communications and Marketing have participated on County-wide conferences calls (Friday 2/8, Saturday 2/9 and Monday 2/11) for purposes of learning about weather forecasts and general situational awareness. These conference calls are led by Snohomish County’s Department of Emergency Management and help us understand what is anticipated in terms of weather and road conditions at a regional level.

This information will be updated as additional action is taken and more information becomes available.

Actions and Equipment
Since Sunday, Feb. 3, the City’s Public Works crew has been on 12-hour rotations. Night-time roadway work has occurred based on Police Department calls. Day time roadway work is determined by both the Police Department and Public Works. The City has 4.7 FTEs maintenance workers.

Based on interlocal mutual aid agreements, Snohomish County and WSDOT plows and apply sand/salt mix to certain primary routes (collectors, arterials and state routes) and secondary routes as shown in the attached map.

This year, due to the 35th Ave. SE Reconstruction project and multiple days of freezing temperature, the County has treated other streets such as 144th Street upon City request.

Our agency partners also are working round the clock to keep up with this regional weather.

Last Monday, Feb. 4, the City’s Public Works Department requested that WSDOT plow and apply sand/salt mix to both state routes (SR 96 and SR 527); these requests have been made continuously throughout the week. However, WSDOT informed the City that their South Snohomish County region had approximately half of their vehicles out of commission and that their priority routes were Interstates and on/off ramps.

An image of Mill Creek primary and secondary snow and ice removal routesOver the past week, plowing and sanding on SR96 was conducted by Snohomish County Public Works and the City’s Public Works crew; plowing and sanding on SR 527 has been conducted by City crews. WSDOT, Snohomish County and City of Bothell have not been able to provide support on SR 527. Some roads to residential areas have been treated by the City (e.g., slopes and hills). The City’s single plow has been operational since the first snowfall on Sunday, Feb. 3.

The City has one snow plow that has been used continuously by the City’s crew to push/plow snow. It cannot be used to remove ice. Ice removal is handled via a de-icer application or by spreading a combination of sand/salt mix. The City owns one de-icer and one sander.

The City crew has made multiple applications of de-icer liquid on both Bothell Everett Hwy and Seattle Hill Road. De-icer has been applied to most arterials/collectors and residential access roads (slopes/hills).

The City’s sander broke in the afternoon of Monday, Feb. 4. Crew members identified the failed piece. Calls were made to purchase the piece which could be delivered in four to six weeks. On Tuesday morning, Public Works staff contacted several contractors. Sanding services nor sander rentals were available for roadway purposes. Since then, sanding on primary and secondary routes have been conducted by County trucks and by the City crew hand shoveling sand on “hot spots.”

On Sunday, Feb. 10, Communications and Marketing staff shared on social media the status of the City’s sander to apprise people of the manual sand application. The Emergency Preparedness Manager in Bothell, Jennifer Warmke, saw that post. Due to her inter-agency coordination in King County, she was aware of an extra sander at the City of Sammamish. The City of Mill Creek contacted the Emergency Manager at Sammamish and they extended an offer to use it. After verifying compatibility between the sander and the City’s truck, Mill Creek Public Works staff picked up the sander in the afternoon on Feb. 10. It is currently in use across the City. Other members of the community also have volunteered assistance in securing parts and helping repair the City's own sander; the City is pursuing this avenues of assistance.

There has been a regional shortage on salt. On Friday morning, the City secured sand and salt. A front loader was rented in order to mix the sand and salt. These materials are being stored. At that time, the City had approximately 2 days’ worth of supplies. For context, based on information shared by other jurisdictions in the County (DEM conference calls), most other agencies have a similar amount of supply in hand (1, 2 or 3 days max.). Additional de-icer is scheduled to arrive Monday, Feb. 11. The City continues to seek additional sand and salt.

Declaration of Emergency
Due to the ongoing weather and roadway conditions, the City of Mill Creek made a Declaration of Emergency on Sunday, Feb. 10. This allowed the City to seek outside help to support for snow removal and roadway care operations. The City secured assistance from KLB Construction on Feb. 11. They provided two snow plows and focused on clearing SR 527, SR 96/132nd Street SE, Mill Creek Road (including the roadway into Emerald Heights), and Mill Creek Blvd through Tuesday, Feb. 12. The City is continuing use its own plow and to sand when temperatures hit freezing.

Updated Information
Since Feb. 3, the City’s Communications and Marketing staff have quickly identified closures as appropriate to City offices and programs; announced road closures; tried to track and share road conditions; and share key messages from the Department of Emergency Management’s Joint Information Center. Updates are regularly provided on the City’s social media channels: