Winter Weather Updates (Jan. 11-15, 2020)
Posted on 01/14/2020

Please DO NOT use YourGov, social media or call or email City Hall/Public Works staff, to report that your street has not been plowed. Our crews will work as quickly and as safely as they can to reach your neighborhood. Please note that as our staff focuses our energy on plow operations, we cannot respond to plowing requests.

JAN. 15, 2020

4:15 P.M. — The snow from this afternoon has cleared out, but it's been replaced by wind. It's a bit breezy out there right now and could continue through the night. Charge your phones up, just in case! Here are a few tips on windstorms and power outages:

Do not call 911 if your power is out, unless your safety is at risk. Report the outage to Puget Sound Energy online at pse.com/outage or in the PSE mobile app (download it at pse.com/app). PSE offers outage information, including restoration estimates, on its outage map at pse.com/outage/outage-map and on the mobile app. During previous power outages, the PSE app was working, but the website was not, so it’s good to have both options on hand.

POWER OUTAGE SAFETY TIPS

• Drivers, remember, if you come to an intersection where the traffic lights are out, treat it like a four-way stop.

• Turn off lights and appliances.

• Leave one light switch on so you’ll know when your power is back on.

• Use flashlights instead of candles.

• Keep your freezer and refrigerator doors closed and open them only when it is necessary.

• Never use a gas range, indoor cooker, charcoal or gas barbecue for heating.

• Close curtains and drapes to keep the heat in.

• Wear warm clothes in layers.

During a windstorm it’s not uncommon to find downed power lines. PSE says to assume it’s energized and stay as far away as you can before calling 911 or 1-888-225-5773 to report it. Do not drive over a downed power line. Even if the lines are not energized, downed wires can get entangled with your vehicle and cause further damage. 

2:30 P.M.
— It's snowing in Newcastle right now and just beginning to accumulate again on the roadways. Crews are out and about treating roads across the City as snow continues to fall. Please drive slow and use caution.

A few reminders: Please note that it is the property owner's responsibility to clear snow off the sidewalk, driveway or parking lot in front of your residence or storefront. Thanks for doing your part to help keep walkways clear for our community!

Additionally, please clean off snow and ice before driving your car. Snow on the rooftop, hood or other area becomes dangerous when it flies off and obscures another driver's view at higher speeds. According to RCW 46.61.655, it's also against the law. You could receive a $228 ticket for failing to clear off your car.

9 A.M. 
— The Newcastle Youth Community Engagement meeting held at the Newcastle Library tonight is canceled to ensure staff and students are not out in potentially icy conditions overnight.

5:15 A.M. — The Issaquah School District announced schools are closed today, while Renton Schools are on a two-hour delay. Bellevue is on a regular schedule.

JAN. 14, 2020

3 P.M. — City snow plow crews spent much of the afternoon hitting the roads hard after today's snow storm. Roads were very slippery and tricky to maneuver earlier today. Luckily, with a break in the snow, crews were able to make a lot of progress and conditions have significantly improved. The majority of Priority 1, 2, 3 and some Priority 4 roads are in great shape. We'll continue to treat and plow roads in anticipation of more snow and freezing later tonight. Additionally, the Newcastle Library announced that it is closing at 5 p.m. today, while the Coal Creek Family YMCA is closing at 4 p.m. and reopening at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

6:42 A.M.
— UPDATE: Renton announced schools are closed today. All three districts (Renton, Issaquah and Bellevue) in Newcastle are now closed. Stay safe and enjoy the snow day, Newcastle!

6:25 A.M.
— 
Waste Management has canceled residential service on Tuesday due to icy road conditions. Customers will be serviced on their next regular collection day, when WM will collect double the load. Residents, please bring in your waste bins from the curb. WM's Service Alert page has not yet been updated to reflect the canceled service, but there is a useful FAQ there regarding service interruptions: http://servicealerts.wmnorthwest.com/newcastle. If you have any questions, please contact WM directly at 1-800-592-9995.

5:40 A.M.
— UPDATE: Bellevue Schools are now closed for the day.

4:50 A.M.
School districts are taking precautions as the region wakes up to icy conditions. Renton and Bellevue schools are on a two-hour delay, while the Issaquah School District is closed on Tuesday. No word yet on any impacts to Waste Management's Tuesday collection, but we'll let you know if we hear anything. If you have to drive, please take it slow out there. Our crews continued treating roads throughout the evening in anticipation of an overnight freeze. 

 JAN. 13, 2020


4 P.M. — The afternoon's snowfall has made for some slushy road conditions. Crews are out treating roads now. Please take it slow and drive for the conditions. Both the Newcastle Library and the Coal Creek Family YMCA announced that they are closing at 4 p.m. today due to the winter weather conditions. There is currently a Winter Weather Advisory in effect until midnight meaning there's potential for additional snow accumulations of up to 1 inch. Please take extra caution as the temperatures drop and ice forms. Our crews will continue treating roads with a salt mixture throughout the evening in anticipation of an overnight freeze. 

10:55 A.M. —
Newcastle's been pretty lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it!). So far, we've avoided the impactful snow that some of our neighboring cities have experienced. Waste Management collection continues as scheduled. We'll continue to post updates as necessary.

7:30 A.M. —
UPDATE: Bellevue Schools are now closed for the day.

6:22 A.M. —
UPDATE: Issaquah Schools are now closed for the day.

5:10 A.M. —
Good morning, Newcastle. Waste Management has announced they are running all Residential, Commercial and Industrial routes as scheduled today. The Issaquah School District is on a two-hour delay with buses on snow routes. The Bellevue School District, which services a very small area of Newcastle is also on a two-hour delay. The Renton School District is on regular schedule today and all buses are on regular routes. 

JAN. 12, 2020


9:45 P.M. — The City plowing crews have officially been called in. As of this update, it is not yet snowing in Newcastle, but forecasts show it is moving south and will be here soon. Staff anticipates that residents will wake up to either snowy or icy road conditions. Crews will be in place to treat and respond to either condition. The next update will come in the morning. Have a great evening.

9:30 P.M. — The National Weather Service has now issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area, in effect until 4 a.m. Monday. Total snow accumulations of 2-4 inches, with amounts up to 6 inches, are possible.

5:20 P.M. — The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 6 a.m. Monday. Winter Weather Advisories are issued when 2-4 inches of snow is expected to cause a significant inconvenience, but not serious enough to warrant a warning. NWS forecasters say we can expect accumulations of about 2 inches. Wondering about the difference between advisories, warnings and watches? NWS lists the specific explanations here.

The City will continue to monitor the forecasts. We have staff and plows ready to respond should snow start accumulating on roads. Read our Winter Weather FAQs (newcastlewa.gov/WinterFAQ) for information on snow response, frequently asked questions and a look at our snow/ice priority route map. Waste Management is also keeping an eye on the forecast and will post any impacts to Monday waste collection on their Newcastle-specific alert page (servicealerts.wmnorthwest.com/newcastle). 

A few key bookmarks to keep in mind through the winter response:

1. newcastlewa.gov/winter - This links to the page you're currently on, where we will post news updates on plowing progress, waste collection delays and road closures.

2. newcastlewa.gov/WinterFAQ - Read this to learn more about our snow response procedures and other frequently asked questions.

3. newcastlewa.gov/snowmap - A link to the map we use to prioritize our plowing operations.

4. servicealerts.wmnorthwest.com/newcastle - A link to Newcastle-specific service alerts impacting any Waste Management collections. It also includes a WM FAQ on waste collection delays.

JAN. 11, 2020

On Saturday, Jan. 11, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Newcastle area. The watch, in effect from Sunday afternoon through late Sunday night, means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet, or ice accumulations that may impact travel. 

NWS forecasters say a trace to 2 inches of snowfall is possible. Higher amounts could materialize, up to 4 inches, if heavier showers develop. Newcastle staff members are closely monitoring the weather forecast, with City crews scheduled to report on Sunday, should conditions warrant.

We're asking everyone to please read our Winter Weather FAQs (newcastlewa.gov/WinterFAQ) for information about plowing routes and City storm response. A few important reminders we want to highlight from the FAQ:

— Never abandon your vehicle in the middle of the road during a snow storm. If you absolutely must abandon your vehicle for safety reasons, please move entirely out of traffic lanes and onto the shoulder so that plows and emergency vehicles can pass. Vehicles abandoned on arterial streets may be towed at owner’s expense.

— Please DO NOT use YourGov, social media or call or email City Hall/Public Works staff, to report that your street has not been plowed. Our crews will work as quickly and as safely as they can to reach your neighborhood. As we focus our energy on plow operations our staff is not able to respond to plowing requests. We must work on priority routes first and then move on to the neighborhood hills and arterials. When snow continues to fall, plows will not be available to clear local residential and less-traveled roads, as they must continue working to ensure major roads and transit routes are clear.

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