UPDATE | FEBRUARY 14TH, 1:45PM: The Snoqualmie Valley School District announced that schools would remain closed on Friday, February 15th – making it a full week closure for all SVSD schools. With next week being mid-winter break, students will not return to school until February 25th.
The SVSD announcement: “This has indeed been an extra-ordinary week for our district families and staff, as well as the entire community. We understand the frustrations and challenges that school closure have on families and truly appreciate the patience and support that many have expressed. We are also grateful to the team of devoted (and exhausted) staff members who have braved the elements this week to drive throughout the district to assess road conditions, chain and maintain district vehicles, dig out buses, shovel entrances and portable ramps, operate plowing equipment, mend leaks, de-ice sidewalks, and more. Even with additional contractor services helping move deep snow from fire lanes, bus loops and parking lots, this is slow and laborious work, to clear 12 campuses. We are making progress on several campuses, but much work remains. Tomorrow’s closure also takes into consideration unsafe driving conditions that remain in many neighborhoods, as city and county crews continue their road work. Thank you again for your patience and understanding for this unprecedented situation. The safety of students and staff will always be our top priority.”
ORIGINAL STORY: As the Snoqualmie Valley continued digging out from record snowfall – with some areas reporting three feet after 4 storms rolled through – the Snoqualmie Valley School District cancelled classes again on Thursday, February 14th.
SVSD students have not been in the classroom since February 8th – and even that day was only for about three hours as district officials called a conference schedule early release to get kids home before the second of four storms hit. The District was also closed February 4th and 5th due to snow and then had two shortened days that week due to inclement weather and road conditions.
Late Tuesday, the cities of North Bend and Snoqualmie each declared a formal state of emergency after the most powerful of the storms brought 1-2 feet by Tuesday morning. Residents were asked to stay off roads and move vehicles as snow plows – some called in from other cities and agencies – worked to clear roadways. As of yesterday, some residents were still reporting being stuck at home due to impassable side roads.
North Bend Mayor Pro Tem Trevor Kostanich said, “We understand the hardships everyone is going through and know this storm has left many stranded in their homes. The safety of our residents and emergency access is our first priority as we still have hundreds of homes without access.”
He added, “We have called upon and been supported by our neighbors from the City of Issaquah, Eastside Fire & Rescue, King County, WSDOT, and the National Guard. Our city has made it their mission to clear streets as quickly as possible and coordinate continuous efforts to gain access to all homes that are still snowed in.”
The Snoqualmie Valley School District shared photos of the snow they were dealing with on school campuses and facilities. North Bend Elementary and Mount Si had front entrances blocked by large snow drifts.
According to a February 13th SVSD announcement, “District staff on the Operations and Transportation teams have been working to clear school entrances, fire lanes, bus loops and parking lots, as well as to dig out school buses – but much work remains given the significant amount of snowfall. We have also hired additional contractors to help with snow removal efforts. In addition, there has been some roof damage at Mount Si High School causing leaks inside the old building. We will continue to monitor the storm clean-up progress and make a determination by Thursday at 3PM as to whether SVSD schools will be able to serve students on Friday.
The district said it is also working to develop a plan to make up for the loss of instructional time and will communicate with families, as soon as there is information to share.
On Wednesday, King County Emergency Management activated a non-emergency hotline for people dealing with the recent snow event. Residents can call 206-296-3830 for assistance with transport for medical appointments, fuel, food, shelter and evacuation assistance. Visit www.kcemergency.com for more resources available.
Residents are asked to clear snow from around storm drains to prevent local flooding as snow melts and to remove snow from around fire hydrants in case of emergencies.
Top top it all off, there is now a wind advisory in place for the Snoqualmie Valley today, running through 4PM for strong gap winds. East winds are predicted to by around 15-30mph with gusts up to 50mph possible. The east wind is having a warming effect, though, and this morning had pushed temps into the upper 30’s.
Who’s ready for spring?