Scenes around Spokane during the winter storm Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008 and Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008.
One year ago today, the storm began. The Inland Northwest was pummeled with record-breaking snows that disrupted routines for nearly two weeks. Gene Yoakum said he remembers the storm well. He lives on Spokane’s North Side and uses a wheelchair to get around. Last year, he was trapped at home for three days and after that, his mobility was limited because people failed to shovel their driveways and sidewalks.
Even before most residents will have a chance to dig out from the record snowfall on Wednesday and Thursday, another system is heading this way that could dump another 4 to 6 inches on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
While conditions have improved somewhat this morning, officials continue to urge Spokane area residents to stay home rather than chance the still-unplowed side streets.
The Inland Northwest fought through a record 20 inches of snow that choked roads and has left many people stranded today, with more snow forecasted this weekend. Most schools and government offices are closed, as well as post offices.
Many local school districts are announcing that they'll be closed Friday, too.
City and county offices and the county court system will be closed on Friday. Mayor Mary Verner said this afternoon that she and County Commissioner Chairwoman Bonnie Mager made the decision after determining that the conditions were unlikely to be much better on Friday
Numerous businesses shuttered their doors early or never opened today because of the snow.
Should you worry about the snow piling up on your roof? Probably not -- at least not yet, says Rick Simmet, roofing manager for Specialty Home Products. "This snow's really light, so I don't think it's going to be an issue like it was last year with that really heavy snow," he said.
In Coeur d’Alene, where two feet of snow fell in 24 hours, city street crews have plowed all arterials three times and have begun clearing neighborhood streets, Deputy City Administrator Jon Ingalls said Thursday morning. Ingalls said he's never seen a storm like this.
Less than a week after a prediction for a 7 to 11 inch snowfall amounted to less than couple inches in the most populated parts of Spokane County, a second storm on Wednesday began a dump that appeared certain to reach that range or beyond.
Snow was piling up in Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, Deer Park and other communities in the region as the first part of an arctic storm made its advance into the Inland Northwest with forecasters saying it would hang over the region through Thursday night.