PORT ANGELES — Sequim and Port Angeles are getting the brunt of the snowstorm hovering over the North Olympic Peninsula, said a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
And it won’t move out anytime soon.
“That area from west of Port Angeles to Port Townsend, especially the Sequim area, seems to be getting hit hard,” said meteorologist Kirby Cook at 3:30 this afternoon.
“You’ve had a persistent band sitting over you since this morning and it’s not going to let up.”
Cook said snow was likely to continue falling through the evening and perhaps linger through Saturday afternoon on the Peninsula, while he expected it to taper off after midnight tonight everywhere else.
The massive storm is fueled by the frigid cold blowing over the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the Fraser River valley in British Columbia.
“You’ve got the cold outflow pointed right at you guys across the Strait,” Cook said.
“It’s going to last the longest out there and you are going to get the most accumulation.”
After sunset, winds will pick up, with northeasterly gusts, he said.
Cook had no inch totals of snowfall in various areas of the Peninsula but said that one the storm moves on, ”through the Sequim area and south, I would not be surprised if there were over a foot.”
U.S. Highway 101 at Morse Creek was closed for plowing late this morning with eastbound traffic backed up for several miles to the Baker dip near the Port Angeles city limits.
The highway had reopened by 2 p.m.
“It’s still very slow going through there,” Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Cameron said at the time.
The Jefferson County Courthouse closed at 2 p.m. Friday.
By 2 p.m., Highway 101 had reopened south of Discovery Bay, where an earlier wreck blocked both lanes at 12:14 p.m., while the highway remained close at Milepost 225 at Lake Crescent for a fallen tree.
The Peninsula Communications 9-1-1 dispatch center had received 130 calls for service from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Port Angeles officials said.
“City, county and state snow plows have the main highways and arteries plowed and sanded,” city officials said a statement.
“Slushy pavement is showing in places. Side streets and some hills continue to be covered in snow and ice. Driving continues to be challenging. We recommend maintaining situational awareness and getting updated weather information before travel.”
Clallam Transit reported system-wide delays because of the snow.
Jefferson Transit had canceled remaining trips on the No. 1 route from Port Townsend to Brinnon.
Cameron said there were 10 reported wrecks on county roads and highways this morning, the most serious of which was a possible head-on collision at Towne Road and Old Olympic Highway.
Hurricane Ridge Road was closed at 9:50 a.m. because of heavy snowfall.
Clallam County parks closed at 1 p.m. Friday and will “remain closed until weather permits,” according to the department’s Facebook page.
The Clallam County Public Utility District reported 36 electrical power outages on and around Cedar Park Drive east of Port Angeles at about 3 p.m. today. The Jefferson County PUD had reduced its outages from an earlier 63 customers in the area between Discovery Bay and state Highway 104 to 43 by 3 p.m. The outage was caused by the car-versus-pole wreck that had blocked the highway earlier today, said Will O’Donnell, PUD spokesman.
The Clallam County Courthouse closed at 1 p.m. today because of the weather.
Gov. Jay Inslee declared a statewide state of emergency.
“Everyone in our state needs to focus on preparing for the snow and staying safe,” Inslee said in a news statement.
“Weather forecasters predict this may be a storm unlike one we’ve seen in many years. I encourage everyone to stay off the roads if possible and plan ahead if you must travel.”
Several North Olympic Peninsula events have been postponed, most because of weather.
Among them is the Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival coronation that had been set for Saturday in Chimacum and the Sequim Irrigation Festival coronation, also set for Saturday.
No new date has been set for the Irrigation Festival pageant.
Postponed for a different reason than the weather is the performance of the original one-act play “The Grange” which was originally to be performed at the Chimacum Grange this Saturday and Sunday.
But author and director Angela Gyurko said that so far, the play lacks a full cast. Once it has been cast, a date for the production will be announced.
The Olympic Peninsula Winery Association has postponed its Red Wine, Cider and Chocolate weekend. Any tickets purchased will be good Feb. 16, 17 and 18.
The expectation of bad weather has led to other postponements:
BLYN — The 7 Cedars Casino closed at 3 p.m. today.
Friday Night Bands has been canceled and the Friday Shuttle Service has also been canceled.
Saturday’s 12K Giveaway has been postponed, according to the casino’s Facebook page.
PORT ANGELES — Ghostlight Productions has rescheduled tonight’s performance of “Next to Normal” for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse.
No Golden Dragon
PORT ANGELES — The Juan de Fuca Foundation presentation of the Golden Dragon Acrobats at Port Angeles High School at 7 p.m. tonight has been canceled.
Night to Shine
PORT ANGELES — The Clallam Night to Shine that was slated for 6 p.m. tonight has been canceled.
PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College campuses in Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Forks and CRTC closed at 12:30 p.m. All classes and activities were canceled.
PORT ANGELES — Clallam-Jefferson County Pro Bono Lawyers canceled its free legal clinic, Law at the Landing, scheduled for Saturday.
For more information, email [email protected]
PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Farmers Market at The Gateway transit center at Lincoln and Front streets will be closed Saturday.
PORT ANGELES — A book signing for “Something’s Eating the Garden” scheduled at One of a Kind Art Gallery has been rescheduled to March 9.
Civic Center closed
SEQUIM — Sequim City Manager Charlie Bush has announced that the Sequim Civic Center, located at 152 West Cedar St., will close at noon today (Friday) because of snow.
SEQUIM — The Sequim Prairie Garden Club’s Sweetheart Pie Social, which was set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday has been canceled.
Call 503-380-2309 for more information.
For more about the club, see http://www.sequimprairiegardenclub.org/.
SEQUIM — The Sequim Community Orchestra has canceled its free concert planned on Saturday.
Members will announce a new date next week.
For information, see http://sequimcommunityorchestra.org/
Rally in the Alley
SEQUIM — The Rally in the Alley neighborhood cleanup event scheduled for Saturday has been canceled because of inclement weather.
The event will be rescheduled for March, city of Sequim officials said.
Contact Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Colleen Robinson at 360-775-3742 or [email protected] for more information.
SEQUIM — The Clallam County Genealogical Society has canceled its meeting Saturday due to the weather forecast.
For more information, call the society at 360-417-5000 or email [email protected]
GARDINER — The Women Veterans Conference and Luncheon scheduled for today in Gardiner has been delayed because of the weather.
The announcement on the Olympic Community Action Program’s VetConnect Facebook page said that the conference will be rescheduled for another Friday, “probably a Friday in April.”
Those who have registered will be informed of the new date, said Rita Frangione, outreach coordinator for VetConnect.
For more information, email [email protected] or call 360-344-4940.
PORT TOWNSEND — Vanessa McGrady’s reading from her memoir, “Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption” has been canceled.
PORT HADLOCK — The Jefferson County Library at 620 Cedar Ave. closed for snow at 1:30 p.m.