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City of Seattle Update on Winter Weather Planning, Impacts, and City Services

Seattle (February 11, 2019) – The City continues to work to limit the impact of winter weather on residents and ensure access to critical services. The City is closely monitoring National Weather Service forecasts and preparing for additional snow during the day. The City re-activated its Emergency Operations Center today at 5 a.m.


Residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertSeattle for updates and emergency notifications.


Seattle Department of Transportation: SDOT crews continue to plow, working back to back 12-hour shifts. SDOT currently has 35 snow and ice fighting trucks roving Seattle’s major streets and roadways. Plow crews continue to prioritize keeping Gold and Emerald routes clear. A flusher truck is covering city-wide elevated structure and frost prone areas.  Smaller, more mobile trucks are addressing trouble spots, and streets near schools. In addition, two SDOT tree crews are on duty and available within the City for calls related to downed or hazardous trees through the night shift. No outstanding tree calls currently. Street closure inspection and reporting teams are also on a 12-hour shift and continue checking the status of street closure signs.  Check out the City’s Winter Weather Response Map to locate SDOT’s snow and ice routes. And be sure to take a peek at the interactive Winter Weather Snow and Ice Service Map to monitor treatment status of snow routes and lanes. 

Human Services Department: The City of Seattle has extended the Severe Weather Shelter at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall through Sunday night, February 17. 160 people stayed at the shelter overnight on Sunday, February 10th. HSD and Mary’s Place partnered to open a downtown emergency shelter for families which will remain open through the storms this week. Please call the King County Coordinated Family Intake Line at 206-245-1026 for access or drop in at 312 Dexter Ave N. This space is open for 24 hours per day. The Department of Parks and Recreation and HSD have also opened a 24-hour warming shelter for families with children and others at Garfield Community Center (2323 E. Cherry Street) through Wednesday morning, February 13th. 120 individuals stayed at the Garfield Community Center Sunday evening. This space is open 24 hours a day.  Seattle’s City Hall shelter (600 4th Ave) hosted 100 people on Sunday, February 10th.  King County’s Department of Community and Human Services served 108 people last night at the King County Administration Building (500 4th Ave) and the Day Center at 4th and Jefferson downtown. Both facilities are open all day to act as warming centers.  The Navigation Team was out overnight checking on people living unsheltered and helped over 67 people travel to shelter last night and made 147 contacts. They also distributed gloves, hats, socks and food to those not wanting to come inside. In addition, staff are checking in with high-risk Aging and Disability Services clients through the weekend to ensure their safety.

Seattle Center: Seattle Center Armory will operate on a normal schedule today, 7am-9pm. Seattle Center Monorail has a delayed service start of 10:30am/11am. Museum of Popular Culture (MoPOP) is opening at 12 noon . Seattle. Children’s Theatre has canceled drama classes for today. Pacific Science Center has canceled all Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center programs. Otherwise, PSC will maintain normal hours.


Customer Service Centers: All customer service centers will open today. The University Customer Service Center will close for lunch.


Seattle Public Libraries: Please visit for operating hours at your nearby branch.


Seattle Public Utilities: Due to significant remaining snow and ice on residential streets, residential solid waste services are not running today, Monday, February 11. Contractors will attempt to run expanded commercial and multi-family routes today if arterial access and roads allow. Contractors were able to service some urgent large accounts, like hospitals, on Sunday, as well as downtown alleys with bagged waste.  If conditions improve, crews will attempt to pick up Monday customers’ garbage, recycling and yard/food waste on Tuesday. If conditions are not safe on Tuesday, with another storm coming, then Monday customers, missed last week, will be prioritized later in the week. Both SPU transfer stations will be open at 10am today and staff are ready to receive drop-offs of garbage, recyclables and yard/food waste. For more information, please visit: 


Seattle City Light: Crews are standing by to respond to outages. There are only two customers outages at this time. Please be patient as our crews may be impacted by adverse road conditions. If you see a downed line, keep your distance and report it at 206-684-3000 or 911. You can learn more information about how to stay safe and warm here and also track system outages with this map. Follow Seattle City Light on twitter for tips and updates @SEACityLight.

Seattle Parks and Recreation: Seattle Parks & Recreation programs and school age programs are canceled. The Garfield Community Center (2323 E. Cherry Street) has been opened as a warming and overnight emergency shelter for families with children, and people living in vehicles. Adults are welcome at this facility as well. This shelter will operate 24 hours a day through Tuesday morning, February 12th. Click here for more information and other severe weather resources from the Seattle Human Services Department. Parks are open; however, we encourage visitors to use caution. Snow and ice can cause tree branches to snap. Please stay out from under trees and avoid forested park areas during the current weather conditions.

Office of Housing: The Public Meeting on the Draft Ft. Lawton Redevelopment Plan scheduled for Monday, February 11, 2019, at the Catherine Blaine School at 2550 34th Ave W in Magnolia from 5:30 to 8:30 PM is cancelled. The meeting will be rescheduled. Details of the date, time and location of the rescheduled Draft Ft. Lawton Redevelopment Plan Public Meeting will be posted on the Office of Housing Website, Facebook and Twitter. Send an email with subject “Ft. Lawton” to to receive email updates.


Office for Civil Rights: Seattle Office for Civil Rights expects to offer walk-in office hours for customers on its alternative schedule of 9 am-12 pm and 1 pm-4 pm.

Seattle Preschool Program: Preschools at Seattle Public Schools are closed today. For community-based preschool sites, follow your preschools inclement weather policy.

Seattle Fire Department: No current impacts to services provided to the public. All SFD apparatus are operating with chains on tires.


Seattle Municipal Courts: Seattle Municipal Court will be closed to the public today. They are planning to hold as scheduled the Monday in-custody arraignment calendar in King County Jail Courtroom 2.


City Council: The City Council has cancelled scheduled events today. In additional, legislative department offices will be closed.


General Winter Weather Tips for Residents:  

  • If you can possibly avoid it, do not drive. If you must drive, please take your time, slow down, leave lots of room, and stay safe. Prepare your car with emergency supplies and chains or other traction devices. Remember bridges and raised roadways are likely to be icy, even when the roads are not.
  • Keep warm winter clothing at the ready: gloves/mittens; hats; heavy coats; sweaters; long underwear; heavy socks.
  • Have nonperishable food on hand that does not need to be heated.
  • Make sure you have adequate propane/charcoal briquettes for barbeques/camping stoves that can be used to heat food outdoors. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, keep electric generators and barbecue grills outdoors and away from your house or apartment.
  • Keep water dripping from faucets so pipes don’t freeze.
  • If you are concerned about an individual living unsheltered, or in need, call 2-1-1 a resource line that can help connect an individual to resources. When the 2-1-1 line isn’t open, the 24-hour Crisis Line 866-427-4747 can provide information that the City provides on warming shelters, similar to how they do for sheltering information for people experiencing homelessness. If it is an emergency, contact Seattle Police by calling 9-1-1. SPD has transport vans to take people to warming centers and shelters.
  • If you see a downed power line, please keep a safe distance (at least 20 feet) and report it to (206) 684-3000. If it appears to be sparking or smoking, call 911. Thanks for your help in spreading the word. Learn more here:
  • Never use a grill, charcoal, or generator indoors, in garages, or in carports. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly.