Snowstorm buries Northwest, with more on the way

  • Bus driver Marsha Wilson helps a man to an American Red Cross shelter at Union High School in Grand Rapids, Mich.,on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. People were evacuated from Villa Maria Retirement Community to the shelter due to a power outage. (Neil Blake/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

  • Abby Morin shovels a path as snow continues to fall on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Grand Rapids, Mich. Morin said power was restored to her home the night before. (Neil Blake/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

  • Snow falls at the Washington Capitol in Olympia, Wash. on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Seattle and other areas of the Puget Sound are bracing for a winter storm that is expected to bring 4 to 8 inches of snow. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

  • The bread section of a Safeway store in Tacoma, Wash., is shown Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Many shoppers were stocking up Thursday after officials issued a winter storm warning for the Puget Sound region from noon Friday to noon Saturday with snow accumulations approaching six inches in some areas including Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Hershel Odle looks out toward the cityscape lost in a whiteout as he fishes from a pier during a snowstorm Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Seattle. Officials have issued a winter storm warning for the Puget Sound region including Seattle. The National Weather Service said the warning will be in effect from noon Friday to noon Saturday, with snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches expected in the interior lowland areas. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE — A winter storm that blanketed Washington state with snow and forced the cancellation of more than 200 flights moved south into Oregon as meteorologists warned Saturday that yet more was on the way.

In Seattle, where heavy snowfall is a rarity, residents cleared out grocery store shelves and left work early Friday afternoon as the storm arrived. On Saturday, many got out ski gear and sleds and took to neighborhood hills or even streets that were too steep for cars to navigate.

In Tacoma, hundreds of people turned out for a snowball fight in a park after someone who lives nearby suggested it on Facebook. They took cover behind picnic tables and used sleds as shields.

“This is a perfect morning to bundle up and play in the snow, but stay off the roads if possible,” Gov. Jay Inslee wrote on Twitter.

More than a foot of snow (30.5 cm) was recorded in some areas, including on the Olympic Peninsula, in the nation’s latest bout of winter weather. In central Washington, blowing snow and drifts 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) deep forced the closure of U.S. 2 and Interstate 90. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office warned that snow drifts were blocking many roads.

“Snow conditions are worsening minute to minute, so don’t expect travel conditions to improve,” the sheriff’s office wrote.

The National Weather Service said additional snow could fall Saturday, and another storm was expected early next week.

About 180 people spent the night at an emergency shelter set up at Seattle Center, with officials going out again on Saturday to get other homeless residents to safety. Inslee declared a state of emergency over the storm, and sliding cars caused crashes on highways, though traffic was light. The state transportation department said crews had to clear several trees that had fallen across roads in the Tacoma area.

In Portland, a tanker truck slid into a sport-utility vehicle on an interchange between Interstates 5 and 84 on Saturday, blocking the ramp for hours.

Other parts of the country were also wrestling with difficult weather. Residents of Hawaii were bracing for coastal flooding amid extreme surf predictions. A California man died in rough waters off of Maui on Friday, Hawaii News Now reported.

In California, more than 120 visitors and staff members were rescued Thursday after being trapped by up to 7 feet (2 meters) of snow in a Sierra Nevada resort for five days.

Another winter storm was on the way to the region.

In Yosemite National Park, as many as 50 housing structures near Half Dome Village were damaged by trees toppled during a snowstorm earlier this week, displacing more than 160 employees who provide food, lodging and other services for visitors.

Elsewhere, more than 148,000 customers lost power in Michigan following days of freezing rain. The Consumers Energy utility said power would be restored by late Sunday.

In Washington, about 50,000 people lost power. In Seattle, snowfall from Sunday and Monday lingered into the week as below-freezing temperatures gripped the area. A 59-year-old man died Thursday from exposure at a Seattle light rail station.

Residents in Portland and Seattle who are more accustomed to rain than snow waited in long lines to buy shovels and de-icer.

Autumn Sang was at a mobbed grocery store in Tualatin, Oregon on Friday stocking up for the coming storm for herself and her neighbor, who is disabled and doesn’t have a car.

Sang said she had never seen the store so crowded. She grew up in southern Oregon, where snow is more common, and wasn’t fazed by the forecast.

“I love it. I’m excited about it,” she said of the snow. “I think that Portlanders, most of them are city people and they come from a lot of different places, so they’re not so used to it. It’s like, ‘Use your brain! If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out.’”

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AP journalists Lisa Baumann in Seattle, Amanda Lee Myers in Los Angeles and Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this report.

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