Now, all we need is snow!

Yes, we said the “s” word.  The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is ready to respond and you can follow along on our new Winter Weather Response webpage Our website which allows residents to track where snow plows have been and check current street conditions. We will activate the website during snow storms. It will include a map of winter weather routes; provides plow data for the previous one-, three- and 12-hour periods; and displays nearby traffic cameras, 12 of which are live streaming. You can access the website via our  homepage: www.seattle.gov/transportation/

We are prepared to keep arterial streets clear.  SDOT’s response plan is ready to implement with  salt stockpiled and equipment prepped for another season of La Nina winter weather.  We are coordinating with other City departments and other agencies throughout Seattle.

The plan calls for SDOT to keep major roads open, buses moving and critical emergency services accessible during snow and ice storms. In line with industry best practices, SDOT will stay ahead of storms by pre-treating streets with salt brine before snow falls to reduce the snow’s ability to stick to streets and by using salt during storms to melt snow more quickly. The plan, which has been used with success over the past two winter seasons, was designed in consultation with emergency services, transit providers and key partners such as area hospitals.

SDOT has 26 plows and four anti-icing/de-icing trucks ready, 2,200 tons of salt,  and 46,500 gallons of salt brine.  We have already conducted a full exercise with our plow fleet. To learn more about the winter storm plan and view the snow map, visit http://www.cityofseattle.net/transportation/winterweather.htm.

Other storm season enhancements include implementing SnowWatch, a new weather tool that tracks and forecasts snowfall at the neighborhood level, converting to a more effective salt brine solution (magnesium chloride) for anti-icing and de-icing work, and completing internal agreements to provide SDOT’s snow fleet with additional drivers from other departments if needed.

With an emphasis on emergency response during winter storms, the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle Fire Department have snow chains ready and alternate response routes planned so personnel can effectively respond to emergency and general calls during adverse weather.

Be ready along with us:  Residents can prepare for the upcoming season and find helpful winter tips and advice at the Take Winter by Storm website: http://takewinterbystorm.org/.