Roads open, power restored on West End

CLALLAM BAY-SEKIU — Roads were open and all electrical power restored in the Clallam Bay-Sekiu area Wednesday after residents awakened to 9 to 12 inches of snow and an estimated 100 to 300 trees toppled onto state Highway 112 on Tuesday morning.

“It was pretty bad,” said Katie Peterson, owner of Ray’s Grocery on Wednesday, “one-lane roads, delivery trucks parked in the road. Trees were down all the way from Ray’s to Neah Bay.”

Peterson said that state Highway 112 seemed passable Wednesday under partly cloudy skies.

Lyric Winn of the state Department of Transportation could not be reached Wednesday, but late Tuesday he had said that he hoped to see both lanes of 112 open soon.

Some 2,000 people lost power in the storm and many stayed without power for several hours. For instance, the Chito Beach Resort was out for 14 hours, co-owner Brian Harmon said.

“Everybody was restored last night,” said Nicole Clark, communications manager at Clallam County Public Utility District on Wednesday. “The crews went home at about 4 a.m.”

On Wednesday, a handful of new outages were reported in the Lake Dawn area, Clark said. All were restored within a hour.

Icy county roads were sanded early Wednesday morning, said County Engineer Ross Tyler.

“All the higher elevations that were slick this morning are well sanded,” Tyler said.

“On weekdays we hit them before school buses get out in the morning, then just before end of day, we hit everything again,” giving roadways a fresh coat so that even with nighttime freezing, it will carry it to the next morning.

“By the time we get to Saturday, we will have a lot of sand on the roads,” Tyler said.

“Things are looking really good, assuming we don’t get much more in the way of precipitation between now and weekend.

“If it stays like this — no precipitation, freezing at night — I’m hoping we can get through the weekend without sending the guys out. I hope to give them Christmas morning with families.”

The higher elevations of Port Angeles and west of Port Angeles were hit with up to 8 inches of snow. No snow was reported in Forks, Sequim or in East Jefferson County, according to Allen Kam, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

Olympic National Park reported 56 inches at Hurricane Ridge as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, with 18 inches of new snow.

North Olympic Peninsula weather is expected to be dry but cold, with temperatures dipping below freezing.

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Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].

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