35 plows and 10,000 pounds of salt: Seattle's snow response

Seattle may not be a city that deals with snow often, but that doesn't mean the Department of Transportation hasn't been preparing.

On Monday morning, snow swept across the Greater Seattle Area, stalling traffic, delaying commutes, and generally wreaking havoc on transportation citywide.

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In the midst of all this, SDOT was hard at work.

“The city has about a little over 35 snowplows at our disposal,” SDOT’s Ethan Bergerson told KIRO Radio. “They are out there right now, and we ordered about 10,000 pounds of salt mixture to pre-treat the snow.”

According to Bergerson, crews have been treating the roads with that salt since noon on Sunday, working in 12 hour back-to-back shifts.

“We’ve been out there 24/7 since before the first snowflake hit the ground,” he noted.

In total, there have been 74 drivers and 14 hand crews who have checked into work since Sunday.

As the snow continued to accumulate throughout the morning, SDOT plows were out in full force clearing roads, prioritizing transit and emergency routes.

“What we’re doing is prioritizing the most important routes for people, buses, and emergency vehicles,” said Bergerson.

Even as the snow dies down in the afternoon and evening hours in Seattle, work will continue to keep roads from icing over in what will be frigid overnight temperatures.

In the meantime, Bergerson advises people to be careful out on the roads.

“If you have the option to not drive today, it’s a really good day to take a snow day. If you must drive, please be careful, take it slow, give plenty of space, plan for extra time,” he said.

You can also check out roads that have most recently been plowed on SDOT's Winter Weather Response site here.

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