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Winter Storm

On Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008, much of the Inland Northwest awoke to a heavy coating of snow. Which kept falling. And falling. Spokane ended up with 23.3 inches over 34 hours ending at 4 p.m. Thursday. Coeur d’Alene had 25 inches by Thursday morning. Dozens of roofs collapsed. Stores sold out of roof rakes and snow shovels. Schools and offices closed down for multiple days. Additional snowfall would make December the snowiest on record with 61.5 inches. By the end of the winter, 93.6 inches had fallen at the airport, besting 1949-50 as the snowiest winter on the books. With the 92.6 inches that fell in the winter of 2007-08, Spokane also set a snow record for back-to-back years.

Snoqualmie Pass reopens in both directions

Transportation officials reopened eastbound Interstate 90 through Snoqualmie Pass and plan to reopen westbound lanes at noon. Blewett Pass remains closed. White and Stevens passes are open. Traction devices are recommended, according to the Washington Department of Transportation.

North Idaho seeing worst of weather

Spokane appears to have escaped the worst of the snowpack melt off and rain. Flood warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for the Coeur d'Alene River in Cataldo and the Palouse River, said John Fox, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "We are seeing ice jams in the St. Joe River."

Local traffic smooth

Traffic around Spokane and Coeur d'Alene is moving along smoothly on metro streets as well as Interstate 90, police say.

Boy Scouts become snow angels

The phones are ringing off the hook at the Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts of America. Since Dec. 22 nearly 150 people have called asking for help with snow shoveling and the calls keep coming in. “We get more frequent calls from people when they get a really big dump,” said Steve Yackel, director of field services for the Inland Northwest Council of Boy Scouts of America, and the keeper of the long list. “We’ve always gotten these requests, but this is the first year we’ve put it on the Web site and gone directly to the troop leaders for help.”

West Plains cities in emergency mode

The cities of Cheney and Airway Heights were still in a state of emergency this week as yet another storm coated the region Sunday night. Cheney called out the National Guard Friday and Saturday to give snow crews a break. The fleet had been working 24 hours a day in shifts since the first storm hit Dec. 17.

Cold, wet, sloppy mess

After a month of record-breaking wintry weather, Wednesday’s big thaw busted up a few layers of snow and ice that have choked thoroughfares and threatened roofs with collapse. But the disruption brought by weather wasn’t over: Spokane Public Schools planned to close today for more snow and ice removal.

Refuge-seeking wild elk killed when barn collapses

Schools were closed on Tuesday for fears of roofs collapsing, but a herd of elk in Pend Oreille County didn’t get the message. About 20 wild elk were in and around an old hay storage barn taking refuge from deep snow and another storm when the roof collapsed before sunrise on Tuesday morning.

Rain and snow melt a concern

An ice jam was backing up the Palouse River in Colfax this afternoon, and debris was flooding across roadways in the Palouse region as a strong January thaw brought an end to nearly four weeks of record-setting winter weather. Temperatures rose to the mid- and upper-40s today across much of the region, even hitting 50 in Pullman.

Western Washington under weather too

SEATTLE — Rain and high winds lashed Washington state Wednesday, causing widespread avalanches, mudslides, flooding and road closures from rapid snowmelt. At least three people were rescued by boat.


  • Donna Eggers / Albertsons

    Donna Eggers, a spokeswoman for Albertson’s, talks about the grocery chain’s efforts to manage stock while shipments are interrupted because of the weather.

  • Preparing for heavy snow problems

    Avista spokeswoman Debbie Simock talks about potential problems from heavier snow in the forecast.

  • Preparing for possible power outages

    Debbie Simock, Avista spokeswoman, gives tips on preparing your home for if the power goes out during this weeks snowfall.

  • Snow forecast / Thursday, Dec. 24

    National Weather Service meteorologist John Fox on the snow forecast for the Inland Northwest.

  • Travel forecast / Thursday, Dec. 24

    National Weather Service meteorologist John Fox on the harsh forecast for Interstate 90 travelers.

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