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WE’RE READY: Bring on the snow!

SDOT snow plows

Next week might be a snowy one! Cold air & snow are in the forecast starting as early as Monday morning.


The National Weather Service is predicting snow in the Seattle lowlands starting early Monday, January 13, and continuing on-and-off through MLK Weekend.


We’re ready, are you? We’re counting on you.


If you haven’t already, now is the time to buy a snow shovel, salt, de-icers, tire chains, and any other winter equipment you need. We’re counting on you to clear your sidewalks (and your neighbor’s if you can) of ice and snow to keep everyone in our communities safe and moving.


Snow should be cleared within 12 hours after snowfall ends. As the snow melts, keep an eye out for puddles that can turn into icy patches. Make sure that the cleared path is at least 36 inches wide so that people with mobility aids like wheelchairs can get around too. Watch the video we developed with Rooted in Rights to hear from neighbors who rely on cleared sidewalks.


Join the shoveling, snap a pic, tag us (Facebook:@SeattleDOT | Twitter:@seattledot), and post it on social media using the hashtag #SharedShovel. For information on winter storm preparedness, check out Take Winter by Storm and What to do to Make it Through. Also, take a look at our blog post Winter is Coming, But You Can Take It By Storm for more preparation tips!


Our plan is set, crews are trained, & our snow and ice equipment is prepped – we’re ready!

Winter weather preparations

Protecting public safety & making sure people have reliable access to transit are our top priorities.


Last year we came together to keep our region moving during the worst month of snow in 50 years. Since then, we’ve been hard at work updating our Winter Response Plan based on what we’ve learned. We’ve put the plan into action and in December did a dry run to make sure our crews and drivers are ready. They’ll be back on the roads tomorrow getting ready for snow.


Loader pours salt into the back of an SDOT truck.


Plan your trip & some safety tips.

It’s best not to drive during major storms. If you must drive, plan your trip by seeing where the snow plows have been and viewing traffic cameras. You can see when roads have been plowed on our up-to-the-minute interactive Winter Weather Response Map

Know the routes on the Winter Weather snow and ice route map.

Follow us on Twitter at @SDOTtraffic for real-time traffic updates.



If you need to drive, please take extra care when traveling, and if possible avoid commuting in the snow. Drivers have some special responsibilities. If driving is unavoidable, you’re responsible for outfitting your cars for winter weather, including chains or other traction devices.



Look out for each other. If you’re driving, be extra mindful of pedestrians and people biking. If you’re walking or biking, make sure you can see and be seen. We have safety lights if you need any! Let us know. Drivers, be sure to turn your headlights on.


 Trains, buses, & ferries

If you are plan on using the bus, train, or ferry, know before you go:

  • See the latest information on Metro’s blog. They’ll keep their eye on the King County Metro Transit commute from 6-9 AM and again from 3-7 PM and will post about service disruptions.
  • Follow Metro’s RSS feed for real-time updates, bookmark their blog, or visit the Metro Online website for additional information and services.
  • If you take the train, find Sound Transit alerts and information here.
  • For Ferry info, please visit Washington State Ferries’ Travel Alert BulletinsKitsap Transit’s Fast Ferry, and/or WSDOT’s ferries site regarding your ferry commute.

You can also follow:



If you notice a downed power line, DO NOT touch or approach it. Please report downed wires or outages to Seattle City Light at 206.684.7400. Check out City Light’s outage map and tips for what to do when your power goes out. When traffic lights are out, treat the intersection as a 4-way stop. You can also stay connected, even when the power is out by downloading Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) mobile app, to track and report power outages in your neighborhood and check the status and estimated restoration times, all in the palm of your hand. Follow PSE on Twitter.


 Fallen trees or branches

If you notice fallen trees or other debris blocking streets or sidewalks, contact our 24-hour dispatch crews at 206.386.1218.


 Park facilities

Park programs and facilities may be affected. Please check the @SeattleParks Twitter channel, blog, and/or website.


 Winter storm planning

For information on planning for the winter storm season, such as what you should include in your emergency preparedness kit, check out Take Winter By Storm, our multi-agency preparedness site. For the latest emergency notifications, sign up for Alert Seattle to get alerts via text, tweet, and more. You can also follow the National Weather Service Seattle’s Twitter.


Learn about our Winter Weather Response.

Check out our Winter Weather Response webpage for a winter weather response map, winter weather brochure, and snow route map. Learn about our winter environment and what to expect if it snows.


We’re ready!