Winter is here! Check your snow route because this year is different

Prepare for winter stormsThis year is different in terms of snow routes in unincorporated King County. The county’s resources to plow and sand roads have been significantly reduced since the region’s last major snow storm in 2010. Many roads in unincorporated King County that were plowed or sanded then are no longer primary snow routes. The county used to plow and treat 30 percent of county-managed roads, but this year there are only resources to plow 15 percent of the county’s 1,500 miles of roads. There is a greater chance you could become snowbound or disconnected from the road network.

We’ve updated our Snow and Ice webpage to provide you with the latest snow route map for 2016 and the following winter weather information and resources:
-Why are there fewer snow routes?
-Resources for emergency preparedness.
-Driving in snow and ice.
-Frequently asked questions about snow and ice response.

The county responds to weather events that affect the bridges and roads outside of cities (unincorporated areas) that are not state highways or privately owned roadways. This includes 181 bridges and 1,500 miles of roadway We keep communities connected – including the unincorporated region, nearby cities and even Pierce and Snohomish counties.

Driving in Snow and Ice:

  • If bad weather is predicted, check the forecast before heading out and adjust your travel plans if you can. If possible, consider postponing your trip.
  • When traveling, be aware of ice hazards, especially on shaded roadways, bridges or in high elevation areas prone to freezing. Be on the lookout for black ice as well as snow.
  • If you must abandon your car during a snowstorm, pull as far off the road as safely possible to avoid blocking other vehicles and snow removal equipment. Cars left in travel lanes may be towed and impounded.
  • When key roads are closed due to snow and ice, access to communities can become severely restricted. Monitor road closures in your community and have a family back-up plan in case you are not able to get home.
  • Equip your vehicle with all-season tires and carry tire chains.
  • Dress for the weather in case you become stranded and have to walk.
  • Use caution when following a snowplow or sander by allowing at least two car lengths distance.
  • Allow ample time to reach your destination.
  • Sign up for Road Alerts to receive timely information about road closures or hazardous conditions.

For more information, visit our Snow and Ice webpage.