Snowfall early Tuesday brought slippery roads to Skagit County and closures to some schools, offices, roads and area state parks.
The snow, which came on the heels of a dusting on Sunday and Monday, had most Skagit County school districts announcing closures Tuesday morning.
“Today, roads were icy and conditions were worsening,” La Conner School District Superintendent Whitney Meissner said. “(It was) better to keep staff and students off the roads.”
The Concrete School District opened on a two-hour delay, and while the Burlington-Edison School District was open and on time it was telling parents to plan for a delayed start Wednesday.
“The process for determining school closures and potential late starts begins early in the morning,” district Executive Director of Learning and Communications Todd Setterlund said. “Representatives from our transportation department drive the roads and determine whether our buses can operate safely on the routes.”
The Mount Vernon School District, which canceled school Tuesday, is on a two-hour delay Wednesday.
Throughout Skagit County, some Skagit Transit routes were behind schedule and some buses were using alternate snow routes, according to a news release.
The condition of the roads was such that the State Patrol responded to 21 collisions in Skagit County during a 48-hour period from Sunday to Tuesday.
Skagit County announced on Twitter that many staff were out for the day, and State Parks announced varying levels of road and park closures at Larrabee and Deception Pass state parks.
In Anacortes, the city’s Parks & Recreation Department closed the Washington Park Loop and the road up to Mount Erie due to hazardous conditions.
Snow depths throughout the county are forecast to change throughout the week, first as more snow comes late Tuesday through Friday, and then as conditions warm.
The warmer temperatures could cause melting, and when combined with rain could lead to flooding.
The National Weather Service’s Seattle office warned Tuesday that additional snowfall, overnight freezing temperatures and wind over the next several days may create hazardous driving conditions and impact power.
As of noon Tuesday, about nine Puget Sound Energy customers were without power due to downed trees or branches, according to the company website.
Wind gusts up to 40 mph Wednesday through Friday may further impact PSE customers in the area.
Puget Sound Energy said in a statement that crews will respond to outages as it is safe to do so. The company urges precautions during winter outages including using flashlights instead of candles, not using charcoal, gas or natural gas indoors, and keeping portable heaters away from flammable items including drapes and furniture.
The wind chill is forecast to bring low temperatures into the 20s and teens, and wind combined with snow could create additional visibility challenges for drivers.
Mid-Tuesday to mid-Wednesday, an additional 3-4 inches of snow may accumulate in areas of west Skagit County around Mount Vernon, and 4-6 inches in east Skagit County around Concrete, according to the weather service forecast.
As of noon Tuesday, the Northwest River Forecast Center was not anticipating flooding of the Skagit or Samish rivers.