Winter Weather Updates (Feb. 8-15, 2019)
Posted on 02/15/2019

The City of Newcastle will update this post throughout the day as news arises. Stay safe out there everyone!

1:30 p.m. Feb. 15 | AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM WASTE MANAGEMENT

“Due to inclement weather service delays, we will provide courtesy garbage and recycle service on Saturday, Feb. 16 for all Newcastle residential customers. Please place garbage and recycle carts at the curb for service by 7 a.m. Saturday. A reasonable amount of material will be collected at no additional charge. We will also service on your next regularly scheduled service day. From all of us at Waste Management, thank you for your patience!”

10:45 a.m. Feb. 15 | Morning, everyone! The snow is too crusty right now, so our crews can’t start plowing again until this afternoon at the earliest. In the meantime, staff is focusing on getting our fleet of trucks up and running. The vehicles are definitely feeling the stress of nonstop plowing after this series of snow storms. As things start returning to normal, updates will slow down. We will post any further winter weather updates at newcastlewa.gov/winterweather. Thank you!

5:15 p.m. Feb. 14 UPDATE |
The Renton School District will operate on a regular 90-minute delayed start Friday schedule tomorrow.

4 p.m. Feb. 14 UPDATE |
The Issaquah School District is on a two-hour delay for Friday.

2:25 p.m. Feb. 14 UPDATE |
With rain and warmer temperatures in the forecast, city crews will be working to clear storm drains of snow and ice to reduce localized flooding. Our crews will do our best to clear storm drains, but Newcastle has over 2,900 storm drains on its city streets. If you feel safe to do so, we’re asking residents to help clear storm drains of icy slush and debris.

Our crews are also out there continuing to plow, so we apologize if they plow onto your storm drains. When snow plowing takes place, snow is not removed but rather pushed to the side of the road. Snowplow drivers make every effort to avoid plowing snow onto driveways and storm drains, but if they do, we'd sincerely appreciate it if you could help us clear the drain to prevent flooding.

If the snow is particularly tough, use a metal shovel instead of a plastic one. Remember, safety first! Leave the storm drains on busy streets and intersections to us. Wear bright, warm clothing and watch for cars on residential streets.

If a storm drain near your house is clogged and you can’t clear it, create a request at yourgov.cartegraph.com and our Public Works crews will take care of it! Thanks!

1:25 p.m. Feb. 14 UPDATE |
Hi everyone, just a heads up that Waste Management is out and about dropping off new garbage cans today. They'll drop off as many as they can through this Saturday. 

Our staff has changed out the plow blade to a steel blade (it's rough on the equipment, street, and driver) – but is more effective. One of our trucks is now heading out to hit the more difficult locations – Landcastle (Southeast 74th Street/114th Avenue Southeast), 126th Avenue Southeast (Olympus), 135th Place SE (Milepost)/ Southeast 81st Street (Trail) and higher cul-de-sacs on the east side of the city. We'll also be hitting 126th with the big truck this afternoon (Edit: See video of the work).

8 a.m. Feb. 14 UPDATE | Happy Valentine's Day, Newcastle. A quick a.m. note: Last night’s freeze will mean all of the slush is now most likely solid ice – nothing is going to remove that material until it softens up! Luckily, rain in the forecast today should help that along.

5:45 a.m. Feb. 14 UPDATE | HEADS UP! The Issaquah School District just announced that it will actually be CLOSED on Thursday instead of delayed. Renton Schools remain on a two-hour delay, while Bellevue is on a regular schedule.

6:45 p.m. UPDATE |
 Wait, we've got one more update. Today our crews got to more cul-de-sacs in The Reserve and China Falls (though we were not able to get down Southeast 82nd Place in The Reserve). Crews will get to an accidentally missed portion of 126th in Olympus on Thursday morning. We apologize for the inconvenience. Our crews are now putting down de-icer in anticipation of tonight's hard freeze. That's all we have for tonight. Thanks for your patience.

5:45 p.m. UPDATE | Evening, everyone. We're sorry, but we don't have an ETA on when the non-priority routes will be cleared. Our crew is running on fumes and they're going as fast as they can. If you live on an unplowed street, we understand your frustration and ask for your patience. We'll have another update for you tomorrow.

5:15 p.m. UPDATE | Starting on Thursday, Waste Management will begin delivering new carts to customers as part of the service enhancements that begin in March. Waste Management will deliver garbage carts first so customers can utilize them for their extra garbage after not getting serviced the last couple of weeks. WM will deliver garbage carts Thursday through Saturday (They hope to get at least half of the garbage cart delivery done over this time). Do not put out your current garbage can, Waste Management will pick those up next week when regular service resumes. 

If you currently subscribe to yard waste, please put them out on the curb next week during your regularly scheduled collection day even if there's nothing in them. Next week, WM will be removing all of the old yard waste cans in preparation for new ones, which are expected to be delivered Feb. 20-23. If you had a new garbage can delivered by this time, they'll also remove your old one.

You can learn more about the new WM services starting in March (new cart colors, yard waste included, etc.) at newcastlewa.gov/solidwaste.

5 p.m. UPDATE
| The Renton and Issaquah school districts will be on two-hour delays on Thursday.

4:50 p.m. UPDATE |
We've received a few questions about cul-de-sacs. Here's some additional information: So, we are still working to plow cul-de-sacs, with a few exceptions (as designated on the priority map). They are, however, the lowest priority, especially short, flat cul-de-sacs. When we say we can’t plow cul-de-sac bulbs, we mean we can’t clear them entirely to the point of exposing asphalt. We’ll do our best to create a pathway and provide people access.

We’ve been unable to plow steep cul-de-sacs. One of our trucks isn’t heavy enough to be effective, while the largest one can’t get up or down them (our crew slid sideways today while attempting to plow Southeast 86th Place). The truck that is most effective at doing this work is still in the shop at the moment. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Our hope is to hit as many of the non-priority streets as we can today. If you live on an unplowed street, we understand your frustration and ask for your patience. Our crews are working as fast as they can.

1:55 p.m. Feb. 13 UPDATE |
Crews were able to reopen Southeast 76th Street at about 12:30 p.m. today. Thanks for your patience!

10 a.m. Feb. 13 UPDATE |
 Overnight our crews made a significant amount of headway. All Priority 1 through 4 routes have been plowed (with the exception of Southeast 76th Street). With only a few exceptions, all Priority Route 5 streets have been plowed. Here are the current conditions:

Priority Routes 1 and 2: bare and wet
Priority Routes 3 and 4: bare and wet with areas of slush
Priority Route 5: Plowed, but mostly still with a thin layer of snow and slush

Today our crews are continuing to clean up Priority 5 routes and begin to work on non-priority routes. We still anticipate re-opening Southeast 76th Street this morning.

Reminder: Please do not call or e-mail City Hall to request plowing.

8:15 p.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE | Good evening, Newcastle! Here are the final p.m. updates of the day courtesy of our staff: As we noted throughout the day, conditions were rough across the community. At one point today, our staff was down to one plow after one got stuck on Newcastle Golf Club Road and the other was sent to the shop for tire repairs. That, and the poor conditions that accompanied this latest snow event, slowed our progress so we weren’t able to reach arterials as quickly as we did earlier this week.

The good news is that the truck that was stuck on Golf Club Road is back in operation, so we're only down one plow at the moment and now our staff is making significant progress. Southeast 79th Drive/148th Avenue Southeast/Southeast 80th Street/China Creek/The Reserve are clear and down to asphalt. The night shift expects to clear all Priority 3 and 4 routes. Depending on the progress, they may even begin some Priority 5 routes. We are also hoping to reopen Southeast 76th Street sometime in the morning. That's all we have for tonight. Thanks for your patience today, Newcastle. We really appreciate it.

5:55 p.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE |
The Issaquah, Renton and Bellevue (updated at 6:45 p.m.) school districts have canceled classes on Wednesday. It's yet another snow day for Newcastle students.

5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE | Hi Newcastle, we’ve got a quick update on Southeast 76th Street, which remains closed. Unfortunately, we will not be able to get to Southeast 76th Street today. We're unsure about tomorrow yet - but we’ll continue to monitor conditions. Staff is particularly concerned about forecasts that say it is supposed to freeze Wednesday night. If they plow this particularly steep street now, it will still be a layer of compact snow which will actually put it in worse condition than it is now if forecasts for frigid temperatures pan out. We’ll continue to update here as we get more information.

2:20 p.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE | The Newcastle Library is closed today, Tuesday, Feb. 12.

12:35 p.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE | 
Reminder: If you're able to safely get to the Waste Management drop-off point, they'll be there (at the entrance of Lake Boren Park) collecting garbage until 4 p.m. today. Thanks to all who have already stopped by!

Noon Feb. 12 UPDATE |
Southeast May Creek Park Drive has reopened.

10:40 a.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE | The Coal Creek Family YMCA announced it will be closed today due to winter weather conditions. We're starting to see a few small pockets of power outages pop up around the community. Heavy snow could bring limbs down and take power lines with it. 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/outagemap and on the mobile app. During a previous power outage, the PSE app was working, but the website was not, so it’s good to have both options on hand.

10:15 a.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE |
From Public Works Director Jeff Brauns: This current snow event is significantly challenging – the wet slush is extremely slick. Our current priority is major arterials. One truck is down temporarily due to a need to replace tires. It is unknown when we will get to lower priority streets. Please DO NOT call or e-mail City Hall to request plowing. Crews are out there working nonstop and going as fast as we can.

9:35 a.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE |
Last night's storm resulted in very tough conditions for crews — the worst we've experienced after back-to-back-to-back-to-back storms. As a result, we aren’t able to reach routes that aren’t Priority 1 as quickly as we did earlier this week. These photos from 9:15 a.m. show Coal Creek Parkway is looking pretty good at this point, but many neighborhood streets are still covered. Please stay off the road until later today, if at all possible. Crews are out there working nonstop and going as fast as we can to reach the rest of the priority streets. Thanks for your patience as we get through this rough morning.

8:05 a.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE |
The city was hit particularly hard by last evening's storm and conditions are messy everywhere. We have to focus on Priority 1 lifeline routes at the moment. Crews are out there working nonstop and going as fast as we can to reach the rest of the priority streets. You can see what priority your street is at newcastlewa.gov/snowmap. Thanks for your patience as we get through this rough morning. Also, in case you missed it, we've published a webpage with some of the more frequently asked questions about winter weather operations at newcastlewa.gov/WinterFAQ.

7:40 a.m. Feb 12 UPDATE | Newcastle City Hall will open at 10 a.m. today with limited services.

6:30 a.m. Feb 12 UPDATE | Morning, Newcastle. We've got a few a.m. updates for you. First, conditions worsened overnight. Please stay off the roads unless you absolutely have to. Southeast May Creek Park Drive is closed due to a jack-knifed semi just east of 124th (near the hairpin curve). Finally, as we updated below, Waste Management has canceled collection service for Tuesday, but the company is still providing the garbage drop-off location at Lake Boren from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

6 a.m. Feb. 12 UPDATE | Morning, Newcastle. Due to persistent unsafe conditions, Waste Management has canceled collection service in Newcastle on Tuesday. On residents' next regularly scheduled service day, they may place up to three times their normal service levels at no extra charge.

WM is still providing a garbage drop-off location for residents at Lake Boren Park today. This will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Only household garbage will be accepted. 

9:30 p.m. Feb. 11 UPDATE |
Newcastle City Hall will delay opening until 10 a.m. on Tuesday to give staff more time to evaluate road conditions. We'll let you know if anything changes.

9 p.m. Feb. 11 UPDATE | Evening, Newcastle. Here are a few p.m. updates. Newcastle Way is back open, but Southeast 76th Street continues to remain closed for the foreseeable future. The Coal Creek Family YMCA will be opening at noon on Tuesday. Waste Management will make a determination about Tuesday service early tomorrow. We'll update here and social media as soon as we hear from them. 

Conditions grew treacherous rather quickly today as our crews did all they could to keep up with this latest round of snow. All plows were focused on keeping the Priority 1 routes passable. The roads became extremely slick shortly after the snow started to stick (sometime around 2:30), so crews had to turn away from Priority 2 routes. Thanks for your understanding as we tackle Round 4 of snow. 

6:10 p.m. Feb. 11 UPDATE | The Issaquah School District has reversed course and canceled classes for Tuesday. Bellevue Schools are also closed tomorrow. It's another snow day for Newcastle students.

5:30 p.m. Feb. 11 UPDATE | AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM WASTE MANAGEMENT

Waste Management is providing a drop-off location for your household garbage, due to the recent winter weather service delays. The drop-off location will be available Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lake Boren Park. Drop-off material is limited to household garbage. WM will accept up to twice as much material as you normally put in your cart. If you choose to NOT use the drop-off location, you may set out up to three times your usual amount of material on your next regular collection day, at no additional charge.

Waste Management will attempt to provide service on Tuesday. However, due to the weather and safety issues, they may not be able to service all residents. We'll update you as soon as we hear about any cancelations. Tuesday customers are also welcome to take advantage of the drop-off location on Tuesday. For more information, please go to wmnorthwest.com.

5:08 p.m Feb. 11 UPDATE | The Renton School District has canceled classes for Tuesday.

3:15 p.m. Feb. 11 UPDATE | We're getting multiple reports of treacherous road conditions right now. We are temporarily closing eastbound Newcastle Way at 116th Avenue Southeast due to multiple spinouts. Public Works Director Jeff Brauns asks you to avoid the roads until later this afternoon if at all possible.

3:10 p.m. Feb. 11 UPDATE | The Issaquah School District just announced that classes will be on a two-hour delay on Tuesday.​ (See new update above)

3 p.m. Feb. 11 UPDATE | The City of Newcastle receives a lot of questions about procedures before, during and after snow events. We've just published a webpage with answers to a few of the more frequent ones, courtesy of Newcastle Public Works Director Jeff Brauns! You can read it at newcastlewa.gov/WinterFAQ.

2:30 p.m. Feb. 11 UPDATE | Newcastle City Hall is closing early on Monday at 3 p.m. to ensure our staff can get home safely in these winter weather conditions. We will continue to update our website and social media as information arises through this latest winter storm. Additionally, the Winter Weather Advisory we mentioned below has been extended until 8 p.m. Monday.

9:30 a.m. Feb. 11 UPDATE | Newcastle City Hall is indeed open today! Public Works Director Jeff Brauns is currently shoveling the sidewalks/driveway in front of the building. As we updated last night, Waste Management is not collecting waste on Monday, Feb. 11. Please bring in your bins from the curb when you can. WM will collect triple the amount at no extra charge, on your next regular collection day. As soon as we hear about collection services for Tuesday, we'll update it here and on our social media sites. We've put together a page that answers a few of the frequently asked questions we've received regarding waste collection delays. You can view it at newcastlewa.gov/winterwaste

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Monday. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches expected. Precipitation will turn to rain late in the afternoon. Snowfall accumulations may be heavier in the Seattle Metro Area and extend into the evening hours if the warm air moving in from the south arrives slower than expected.

Additionally, for those who need to vote in the Feb. 12 election, the Newcastle City Hall drop box remains open and accessible. As for closures, the Newcastle Library is closed on Monday, while the Coal Creek Family YMCA is planning to close early at 1 p.m. We're told QFC is also planning on closing early at 7 p.m. 

8:30 p.m. Feb. 10 UPDATE | We just received word that Waste Management is canceling all service (everywhere, not just Newcastle) on Monday, Feb. 11. The snow and frigid temperatures continue to cause hazardous road conditions for both WM drivers and our community. When safe, please bring in your collection bins from the curb. This will also delay new cart delivery as part of the new services that begin in March (for more information on the new WM services, go to newcastlewa.gov/solidwaste).

4:30 p.m. Feb. 10 UPDATE | The Issaquah, Renton and Bellevue school districts will be closed on Monday. It’s another snow day for Newcastle students. Other updates: King County Metro is still running on its Emergency Snow Network tomorrow, so that means no transit service in Newcastle (Routes 114 and 240 will not be running). We currently anticipate City Hall will be open Monday (at least with limited services), but we'll know more later and update you if that changes.

12:45 p.m. Feb. 10 UPDATE | Southeast 76th Street will remain closed for the foreseeable future. We cannot risk our equipment and the considerable resources necessary to try and re-open this extremely steep street, only to have to close it again at the next snowfall.

Morning Feb. 10 UPDATE | Morning, Newcastle. A few Sunday a.m. updates from Public Works Director Jeff Brauns: Almost the entire city has seen a plow except for cul-de-sacs. All Priority 5 routes were covered. The crew is currently getting ready for the next snow event expected to hit mid to late afternoon. They are replacing broken chain links and making other equipment repairs (the sanders have been freezing up in the frigid temperatures). The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 4 p.m. today to 4 a.m. Monday, with snow accumulations of 2-4 inches possible during that timeframe. The Winter Weather Watch issued yesterday, which calls for a large snow event Monday into Tuesday, is still in effect.

4 p.m. Feb. 9 UPDATE | Are you ready for the next round, Newcastle? Enjoy the break now, because the National Weather Service has issued another Winter Storm Watch in effect from Sunday afternoon through late Tuesday night. Total snow accumulations of 6-8 inches are possible.

Morning Feb. 9 UPDATE | Morning, Newcastle! A few Saturday a.m. updates: The main roads are looking pretty good out there, with Priority 1s reduced to blacktop or just patches of compact snow. Work continues throughout the day, as crews move to treat more Priority 3-4 routes, while also making sure to continue maintaining Priority 1-2 routes if conditions change. Additionally, Metro Transit Service is now on Emergency Snow Network until further notice. That means no transit service in Newcastle. Learn more here. We'll continue to update this page through the weekend as news arises. Thanks for your patience everyone! Stay safe!

8:30 p.m. Feb. 8 UPDATE | A final update for the night: With a break in the snow and roads mostly free of cars earlier this evening, our staff was able to make such good progress on Priority 1 and 2 streets that they were even able to get to some Priority 3 and 4 roads. The work continues through the night (as does the snow). Thanks so much for your patience everyone, we appreciate it!

5:55 p.m. Feb. 8 UPDATE | Lots of spun out cars on Newcastle Golf Club Road made it difficult for our plows to get through. We're reloading materials and heading out there with our plow again at this moment. Thanks for your patience, Newcastle!

3:05 p.m. Feb. 8 UPDATE | Snow is falling fast and furious across our community and our crews are working as fast as they can to respond and plow major arterials. If you have to drive, please be extra cautious!

1:10 p.m. Feb. 8 UPDATE | The Newcastle Library announced it is closing at 1:30 p.m. today.

12:55 p.m. Feb. 8 UPDATE | Due to winter weather conditions, Newcastle City Hall will close at 1 p.m. today.

12:30 p.m. Feb. 8 UPDATE | While we await the snowstorm, Newcastle Surface Water Specialist Kim Jones has put together some information about preventing pollution as you remove snow and use de-icer. Reminder: Clearing snow on sidewalks, driveways and parking lots is the responsibility of individual property owners. Read the story here.

Feb. 8 UPDATE | NWS ISSUES WINTER STORM WARNING

Good morning, Newcastle! In case you hadn't heard, Mother Nature isn't done with us just yet. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area, meaning severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

Forecasters say we could be in for as much as 5-8 inches. Additionally, it could get breezy late Friday into Saturday, with winds 15-30 mph and some local gusts to 45 mph. The Winter Storm Warning is in effect from Friday at noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, with the heaviest snowfall accumulations likely to occur between 3 and 10 p.m. today.

All three school districts that serve Newcastle dismissed early on Friday in preparation for the storm. The Coal Creek Family YMCA has also announced they are closing at 1 p.m. Friday and was closed all of Saturday.

With more snow on the way, the city will continue to monitor the forecasts as we head into next week. You can too, by following the Seattle National Weather Service on TwitterFacebook or its website.

NEW! UPDATED SNOW-AND-ICE PRIORITY MAP

As we await the next storm, our maintenance crew is back on round-the-clock, 12-hour shifts and ready to make roads safe for drivers. We appreciate your patience as we make our way through the community. If you find yourself behind a snowplow, slow down and give the plow a little extra room.

Newcastle uses a snow-and-ice priority map to determine which roads get plowed first. We're now using a new map that is still in its draft form. In this one, the priorities are numbered from one to five, with Priority 1 streets representing major arterials. We've added a Priority 5 in this edition, which represents mostly local streets with steep hills. During snow events, city crews’ first priorities are roadways that transport large volumes of traffic. Keep in mind we might not be able to get to your roadway as quickly as we did earlier this week, as we try to conserve materials (salt, de-icer) after back-to-back storms. Crews will try and fit in neighborhood streets as they're able, but not before priority routes are clear.

Draft Snow-and-Ice Priority Map (PDF)

Questions about the map/plowing? Please direct your questions to Public Works Director Jeff Brauns at jeffb@newcastlewa.gov.

WINTER WEATHER TIPS

Residents should prepare for the next winter storm. For winter weather preparedness tips, check out the King County Emergency News blog at kcemergency.com. If you have to drive in the snow, slow down and give yourself a bit of extra room from surrounding vehicles. The Department of Transportation has more winter driving tips here.

If you live on a steep hill, consider moving your vehicle to a location that is more accessible ahead of the storm. Additionally, a reminder that it is the homeowners' and businesses' responsibility to clear snow off the sidewalk in front of your residence or storefront. Thanks for doing your part to help keep walkways clear for our community!

POWER OUTAGE SAFETY TIPS

Puget Sound Energy is closely monitoring the forecast. Heavy snow could bring limbs down and take power lines with it. 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 a previous power outage, the PSE app was working, but the website was not, so it’s good to have both options on hand.

• Drivers, remember, if you come to an intersection where the traffic lights are out, treat it like a four-way stop. Though, if you can stay home during the snow storm, that'd be best.

• Never touch or go within 35 feet of downed power lines because they might be energized. Call PSE at 1-888-225-5773 or 911 to report problems.

• Do not use a charcoal or gas grill to cook indoors. Never use a natural gas range for heating, or charcoal as an indoor heating source. This can cause a buildup of poisonous carbon monoxide gas.

• If you choose to use a portable home generator, read the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe operation of the generator. Do not operate generators indoors or in enclosed spaces to avoid the build up of carbon monoxide.

• If you’re using portable heaters, keep them away from furniture, draperies and other flammable materials.

• Always use flashlights instead of candles.

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