Marysville and Arlington received significant snowfall as cold weather and a storm blew through the area beginning on the evening of Feb. 12.
Jay Downing, maintenance and operations manager for the city of Arlington, said that snowstorm was about average for a normal season.
“It’s similar to what we’ve experienced in the past in terms of accumulation and we’ve been able to keep up with clearing it,” on the city’s snow routes, he said.
Arlington and Marysville started the night of Feb. 12 with crews working long shifts into the next morning.
“We did start 12-hour shifts for our crews,” said Downing.
“I spoke to the crews and they had an early morning crew out,” said Connie Mennie, communications administrator for the city of Marysville.
“We have all three of our sanding trucks out,” she said on Feb. 13.
Some of the areas of the city were hit harder in Marysville, particularly the Sunnyside and Smokey Point regions, said Mennie.
“Because of the topography of the city there were some areas that were hit much worse,” she said.
Both Marysville and Arlington use a sand/salt mixture for their roads during snowstorms.
“We think we’ll have plenty of supplies for this round of snow, but if there is more snow in February we may have to restock,” said Mennie.
Marysville staff take part in regional meetings every winter to prepare.
“This starts when public works, emergency management and communications staff participate in a region-wide winter weather meeting in the fall with Snohomish County and other jurisdictions about long-range forecasts, supplies and coordination. That is followed by a city meeting in November with similar topics at a city level,” said Mennie.
Before a snowstorm, city staff also prepare for heavy workloads.
“We have additional staff on call in anticipation for a snow event,” said Downing on Feb. 11. Arlington has 400 tons of sand and 150 tons of salt on hand ready for snow, he said.
“We have three main trucks that we will dispatching along three different routes,” he said.
On Feb. 11 Mennie said Marysville was prepared for a snow event as well.
“If this morning’s forecast remains on track for snow likely on Friday night and into Saturday, we are prepared to send out anti-icing rigs on main arterials Friday afternoon. Plow trucks are preloaded with a salt/sand mixture and ready to respond as needed over the weekend,” she said.
Cities plan out their snow routes ahead of time and there are no major changes from previous years, with the exception that Arlington crews plan to help the airport if needed.
“We are going to clear the mass [COVID-19] vaccination site at the airport,” said Downing.
Marysville prioritizes snow removal first on arterials leading into and out of the city, then on arterials located on hills within city boundaries, and then clears for police and emergency access and then all other arterials.
“Routes are decided by traffic volume (the roads that handle the most number of cars) along with terrain (hills) and access for emergency vehicles and buses,” said Mennie.
Arlington has similar prioritization for their routes.
“We focus on clearing the main arterials first, and the second is the connecting routes to those,” said Downing. They try to prioritize hill areas as well, said Downing.
If Arlington crews get to residential roads, they are usually the last, he said.
Local officials ask residents to take the standard precautions if the road is snowy or icy.
“What we are encouraging people to do is the standard stuff: keep their car fuel tank at least half full, carry blankets, flashlights, and snacks in your car, and stay home if possible,” said Downing.
If your car is parked on a street that is plowed, it should be moved to a driveway or side street. Do not attempt to pass snow plows.
“Snow or no, we’re looking at several nights of freezing temperatures. Make sure to unhook hoses and insulate outdoor faucets,” said Mennie.
Mennie said Marysville also posts emergency weather updates on their website, their Facebook page and their Twitter page.