Now that’s a Snow Pile: 18 pieces of heavy equipment helped Snoqualmie recover from historic storm

It’s been a LONG couple of weeks for the City of Snoqualmie, especially the Public Works Department. Cold weather and snow first descended on the Valley on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3rd and didn’t let up until the last – and historic- storm left its mark overnight February 11th.

Mayor Larson made a Proclamation of Emergency on February 8th in response to the 2nd major snow storm that hit parts of Western Washington.  According to the city, Parks & Public Works crews worked around the clock in preparation for and during the storm and per a city news release, are continuing the massive effort which is now in recovery mode.

Following days of continued snow plowing, the night of February 11th brought the worst of it. With 22 inches of snow in one night, many city roads became impassable, prompting city leadership and the Emergency Management Department to implore residents to stay in their homes and call 9-1-1 for emergencies rather than venture into the storm.

During the storm, Public Works crews worked to keep SR 202 through downtown Snoqualmie accessible and one lane of Snoqualmie Parkway open between SR 202 and I-90. Then began the long week of digging out, with much of the first few days spent keeping major streets open while attempting to plow arterials and side streets packed with snow.

Center Blvd during snow removal. PC: City of Snoqualmie

Beginning with six plows, days into the operation the city secured two front loaders and two back hoes made possible by the Proclamation of Emergency, which allows governmental bodies to “enter into contracts and incur obligations necessary to combat such emergency situations to protect the health and safety of persons and property.”

At one point, 18 pieces of heavy equipment – including plows, front loaders, back hoes, dump trucks, and other city and contractor vehicles – were moving massive amounts of snow to a central location on the vacant lot at the corner of Snoqualmie Parkway and State Route 202.

Snow being offloaded onto empty lot at Snoqualmie Pkwy/SR 202, 2/17/19. PC: City of Snoqualmie
Massive snow pile at SR 202/Snoqualmie Pkwy. PC: City of Snoqualmie

On the afternoon of Sunday, February 17th, Parks & Public Works Operations Manager Brian Krause reported that large scale snow removal operations with contractors had been completed. Krause said snow clearing work this week will be completed using city resources, focusing on improving traffic and pedestrian safety.

“This storm was a perfect example of how important emergency preparation is for residents and businesses,” said Joan Pliego, City of Snoqualmie Public Information Officer. “Store shelves were cleared out, cars were buried in snow, and the only way to get emergency assistance was by snow plows and public safety vehicles. There are other catastrophes that may come our way, such as flooding and earthquakes. Now – not tomorrow – is the time to prepare.”

Local resource info provided by the City of Snoqualmie:

Emergency Preparation
Emergency preparation information, plans, and checklists for all types of emergencies are available in multiple languages on the Take Winter by Storm website at

Social Services
Individuals and families in need of social services can find a list of local organizations on the City of Snoqualmie website under “Community.” Winter homeless shelters are available in Snoqualmie and North Bend. More or 425-773-2874.

Storm Recovery for Unincorporated King County
King County Emergency Services,
King County Road Services Division,, 206-477-8100

Snow Pile at Snoqualmie Pkwy/SR 202. PC: City of Snoqualmie
Snow removal contractors. PC: City of Snoqualmie
Center Blvd during snow removal operations. PC: City of Snoqualmie

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  • City of Snoqualmie
    Thanks to all, both the folks who made it happen and the truckers and equipment drivers.

  • Living Snoqualmie