No snow in the forecast, but Sammamish is ready

December 1, 2012

By Caleb Heeringa

New: Dec. 1, 11:17 a.m.

With temperatures dropping, it’s only a matter of time before Sammamish sees some of the white stuff.

Public Works Director Laura Philpot said city crews are mindful of this as well and are more prepared now than they were two years ago, when the city briefly ran out of deicer during a late-November snowstorm.

During that pre-Thanksgiving storm, the city had to switch to laying down sand to give vehicles extra traction, since a delivery of deicer from a company in Spokane was six hours late due to traffic near Snoqualmie Pass. The sand was too little too late as heavy snow fell during the evening rush hour, leaving many two-wheel drive vehicles stuck on some of the larger hills on 228th Avenue.

Since then, Philpot said the city has nearly doubled its storage capacity for deicer – adding a 6,500-gallon storage tank next to its original 7,500-gallon tank.

“Before we had two tanks we could not order another truck load – around 6,000 gallons – until we were sure we used enough out of the tank to be able to accept the new load,” Philpot said.

Last winter’s major ice storm cut power to more than three-quarters of the city and cancelled schools for several days. But the extra storage capacity prevented the city from running out, and the city’s major arterials remained drivable for much of the storm.

The city also has an additional 3,000-gallon storage tank for salt brine, which serves as a backup in case they run low on deicer.

Philpot said the city also has the capacity to have seven snowplows on the roads at once, up from six in 2010. The plows are affixed to trucks that are used year-round for other parks and public works projects.

Philpot said the city also has a contract with Best Parking Lot Sweeping to provide additional plows if more than four inches of snow has fallen. The company can provide up to four additional plows.

 

Reporter Caleb Heeringa can be reached at 392-6434. ext. 247, or cheeringa@isspress.com.

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