Snow & Ice Information
When snow and ice storms are in the forecast, our Public Works Department is here to prepare and respond. Our crew monitors potential storm events as they are forecast, in order to prepare and take proactive measures to reduce impacts of these storm events. The Public Works Department begins preparing early for the snow season by getting snow equipment ready, stockpiling supplies, training staff for emergency response, and updating the snow response priorities map. During a snow storm, City crews work around the clock. Designated Citywide priority routes are cleared first to accommodate emergency response, main arterials, and bus routes. If snowfall is continuous, those arterials may require repeated plowing and sanding before crews can work to clear neighborhood streets. Public Works is equipped with four trucks with sanders/spreaders and plows and two trucks with deicers and plows, all dedicated for snow and ice response.
Driving on Ice and Snow
Ice and snow, take it slow! Driving in ice and snow, combined with Lake Forest Park's steep hills, can make for hazardous driving conditions. Please remember to use safe driving tactics in winter conditions, including slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking.
- Check conditions: When you see snow or ice in the forecast plan ahead. Talk to your employer, local school or day-care center. How will they provide you information? The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) offers reports on highway conditions with online Statewide Traveler Information. If conditions appear hazardous, don't leave home unless you have to.
- Extra time: Give yourself extra time. It's not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation just to be on time.
- Chaining up: A short how-to video by WSDOT, posted on YouTube, showsthe basic steps for putting chains on your car.
- Before leaving home: Pack a basic winter survival kit and travel gear in your vehicle. The kits should include: tire chains, ice scraper/snowbrush, jumper cables, road flares, snow shovel. flashlight, batteries, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, and first-aid kit.
- Driving tips: The faster you're going, the longer it will take to stop. When accelerating on snow or ice, take it slow to avoid slipping. When braking, do so slowly and never slam the brakes. Give yourself plenty of room to stop. Also make sure to keep your fuel tank full.
- Black ice: Roads that seem dry or just wet may actually be slippery with black ice. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady areas.
- Snowplows: Give snowplows room to work. The plows are wide and can cross the centerline or shoulder. Do not tailgate and try not to pass. If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the snow cloud.
Severe cold can freeze the water in your pipes, causing them to burst. Be cautious with alternative ways of heating your home. If freezing temperatures are in the forecast, take the following steps:
- Drip warm water from the indoor faucet farthest from where water enters the house.
- Insulate outdoor faucets and pipes in unheated garages and crawl spaces.
- If a water pipe breaks, immediately turn off the main water shut-off valve and/or water meter to control flooding and water damage. Then call a plumber.
- Use alternative heat sources safely and wisely. If you use a kerosene heater, make sure there is plenty of ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide gas buildup. Keep heaters away from curtains and clothing, and make sure heaters are turned off before going to bed. Do not leave children or pets alone with a portable heater. Do not use outdoor grills or camp stoves indoors as it may cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
- When snow falls, shovel your sidewalk and driveway. If you have neighbors who have difficulty shoveling snow, consider cleaning theirs too.
- Businesses and building managers should shovel sidewalks outside their locations so customers and employees can get around.