State and Clallam county road crews dug out roadways and Clallam County Public Utility District crews worked to reconnect electrical power customers at the northwest corner of the North Olympic Peninsula after a reported 9 inches to 12 inches of snow fell on the Sekiu-Clallam Bay area overnight Monday.
Somewhere between 100 and 300 trees fell on state Highway 112, blocking the roadway. By dusk Tuesday, Lyric Winn of the state Department of Transportation said that at least one lane had been opened and he hoped that two lanes would be open soon.
He expected more snow Tuesday night and was planning on having crews out in the area Wednesday morning.
County Engineer Ross Tyler said that he was told no snow fell in Forks.
“It started at about Beaver Lake on state Highway 113 and the farther you went north the worse it got,” he said.
“We’ve got everything cleared off,” Tyler said of county roads in the area late Tuesday afternoon. “Now it’s going to be tending to the ice. It’s going to get slick.”
Tyler said that crews would be back out early Wednesday morning to sand roads.
By 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, 666 customers remained without electricity after some 2,000 had lost power by about 11 a.m. Tuesday, said Nicole Clark, communications manager.
Clark said the PUD crews would be working after hours “until all customers are back in service.”
Reconnections were slowed by access to some areas being blocked by fallen trees, she said, “but now we’re in high gear.”
Outages also were reported on Monroe Road and Deer Park roads in Port Angeles.
Clallam Transit canceled service on the No. 10 route west of Crescent School in Joyce on state Highway 112 because of snow and ice on the roadway and the No. 16 route west of Clallam Bay because of trees on the roadway.
No snow was reported in Sequim or in East Jefferson County, said Allen Kam, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
The Northwest Avalanche Center reported 56 inches at Hurricane Ridge as of noon Tuesday, with 18 inches of new snow, Kam said.
Wednesday is expected to become sunny across the Peninsula, he said, but with temperatures dipping below freezing, roads in the West End might be hazardous.
Even though weather is expected to be dry, because of temperatures expected in the high 20s, “the roads could be a mess for awhile,” Kam said.
Spotter reports told of 6 inches in an area around Port Angeles, 8 inches 9 miles west of Port Angeles and 4 inches 2 miles east of Neah Bay, Kam said.
A report from west of Joyce estimated 7 inches had fallen and by 1 p.m. it was still falling.
The snow was wet snow with a lot of water in it, Kam said.
The storm came from the northwest and a surface low directed north to northeast winds into the Olympic Mountains.
Mountains lifting air causes condensation and precipitation.
“Not only was this wet but it had an added boost,” Kam said.
The rest of the week is expected to be dry but cold, Kam said.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].