Following last week’s significant snow and ice, and with a weather forecast indicating more to come starting later today, City of Bellingham Public Works crews remain on 12-hour shifts. The forecasts on which Public Works bases its work assignments indicates as much as six inches of new snow overnight, followed by heavy rain tomorrow (Thursday), Jan. 6, 2022.
Public Works crews are currently spraying deicer on City streets in anticipation of freezing cold and will continue until snowing begins. However, due to the expected change from snow to rain, the normal process of deploying salt and sand will not occur. Crews will focus on plowing, as well as working to keep storm drains clear in preparation for heavy rain.
According to Public Works Assistant Director for Operations Mike Olinger, all this means that some potentially dangerous driving conditions.
“Unnecessary travel should be limited,” said Olinger. “There is potential for Thursday morning’s commute to be treacherous.”
Olinger said all City plows are loaded and ready to go, depending on need and developing weather conditions. The City’s fleet include seven large sander/plows and two deicing trucks that are in use 24/7 during inclement weather events requiring these services.
The City monitors professional weather information sources to prepare in advance for inclement weather.
“Before the cold comes, we prepare arterial streets to make them easier to clear and ice less likely to form,” said Olinger. “We have posted a map of City street routes that we sand, salt, deice and plow – starting with arterials and major connectors and working our way into residential neighborhoods.”
To view the City’s snow removal route map, and for other information related to winter weather preparation and response, visit https://cob.org/services/planning/transportation-planning/snow-and-ice-removal.
To report clogged drains, please utilize the SeeClickFix tool (https://cob.org/about/contacts/report.) For more information on the City’s winter weather preparation, visit https://cob.org/services/planning/transportation-planning/snow-and-ice-removal.
Avoid Unnecessary Travel
Unfortunately, the City is unable to de-ice and plow all residential streets during winter storms until priority streets have been completely cleared. Because of this, it is important that community members avoid unnecessary trips during inclement weather. Doing so will also help the City’s plow operations run more efficiently, since stranded vehicles can significantly delay this work.
If you must travel during inclement weather, please review the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Winter Driving Tips. The following resources may also be helpful:
- Bellingham Road Closure Information
- Bellingham Traffic (WSDOT cameras)
- Northwest Washington Travel Alerts (WSDOT)