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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Tuesday, December 18, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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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.

News >  Spokane

A December to remember

It was one for the record books. December was the snowiest month in the Inland Northwest since record- keeping began in 1881. Some of the startling statistics: 61.5 inches of snow fell in Spokane during December, while in Coeur d’Alene the National Weather Service total was 56.1 inches. An average December in the region brings just under 14 inches of snow.
News >  Spokane

Timeline of December 2008 snow

Wednesday, Dec. 17: The snow begins to fall lightly in the morning and in earnest by late afternoon. Commuters get stuck on streets leading to the South Hill. Police eventually declare that, except for major arterials, “motorists should consider ALL streets in Spokane closed.” The snowstorm is the result of “the alignment of everything,” says National Weather Service forecaster John Livingston. Thursday, Dec. 18: Spokane ends up with 23 inches by the end of the day. Coeur d’Alene boasts 25 inches. School districts and colleges throughout the Inland Northwest close, as do most government offices. Spokane Transit Authority suspends all but four of its 39 routes. Travel ranges from difficult to impossible out of Spokane International Airport; at least 75 travelers spend the night there. The Christmas Bureau shuts its doors to poor families and individuals for the first time in its 50-year history. Sacred Heart Medical Center cancels elective surgeries. Stores and malls close early. The Washington State Patrol responds to almost 200 collisions. Two state highways are closed – routes 194 and 272 in Whitman County – as are several Kootenai County roads on the Rathdrum Prairie. “This one is absolutely off the Richter scale,” says Coeur d’Alene’s deputy city administrator, Jon Ingalls.
News >  Spokane

Schools battle loads of snow

Uncleared sidewalks were the biggest problem for schools that opened Tuesday in Spokane. And roofs were the issue for some that didn’t. Many districts canceled classes Tuesday – extending winter break to 20 days instead of the planned 17 – so crews could shovel snow from roofs. In other areas, the work continues, with Coeur d’Alene, Liberty, Freeman, Mead, Central Valley, Riverside and Rathdrum-based Lakeland districts among those canceling classes again today.

News >  Spokane

Flood warning extends through Friday

Precipitation, melting snow and heavy traffic created a commuter's nightmare Tuesday as the Inland Northwest began to emerge from its blizzard of holiday storms.
News >  Spokane

Three hurt when trusses collapse

Three people escaped with minor injuries when the roof trusses they were setting up for a partially-constructed community center at a Spokane Valley mobile home park collapsed Tuesday.
News >  Spokane

Avalanche closes Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass is closed from Scenic to Leavenworth, about 40 miles, because of an avalanche according to the Washington Department of Transportation. Avalanche control has been completed on Snoqualmie Pass. The roadway is open.

Blog Posts

Marketing

Another Green Monday

It was a busy week in the Inland Northwest, probably because many citizens were finally able to dig out and thaw off enough to try and reclaim some sort of normalcy in their lives. So in case you missed out on some of the environmental...
News >  Spokane

Dog and owner escape as roof caves in

Two commercial buildings in Coeur d'Alene at least partially collapsed today due to the snow on their roofs. One, at 140 Spruce Ave., housed two businesses -- Allen Pest Control and Accurate Edge. Leonard Allen, owner of the pest-control business, said he had been concerned...
News >  Spokane

North Division Costco closed

The Costco Wholesale store on North Division in Spokane is closed while crews clear snow from the roof, a spokesman there said. The store should be open tomorrow. All other Costco locations are open.

News >  Spokane

Friday’s snowball graphic

Hardly breaking news, but we've received some requests for an online version of staff artist Molly Quinn's snowball graphic, which ran on page A9 in today's newspaper. Here it is. Click here to download a higher-resolution version.
News >  Spokane

Roof collapses reported around region

• Spokane firefighters were called to North Pittsburg Street and 1700 E. Cleveland just before 11 a.m. on reports of a collapsed roof. Scanner traffic indicates nobody was in the building.UPDATE: Firefighters used heat-sensing instruments at Interior Solutions in the 2800 block of North Pittsburg...
News >  Spokane

Warming centers re-activated

With temperatues expected to plunge this evening, Spokane is activating community warming centers for the homeless.The Salvation Army, 204 E. Indiana, will be open to couples and families with children in need of emergency shelter from the cold. The House of Charity, 32 W. Pacific,...
News >  Spokane

CdA bans parking on some streets

Coeur d'Alene police are issuing emergency "No Parking by Police Orders" signs throughout the city in areas where streets are becoming impassable due to the record snowfall, the police department said in a news release.The areas included at this time are: Second Street between Sherman...
News >  Spokane

ISP: 19 slideoffs today

Idaho State Police reported 19 slideoffs Friday, compared to 51 on Thursday. Other accident numbers were similar to Thursday's numbers, with two hit-and-run crashes and six property-damage crashes reported by ISP each day. One injury crash was reported Friday compared to two on Thursday, according...
News >  Idaho

Parting Shot — 12/19/08

Emma Burke, 12, and Jessica Fortis, 13, ski down the sidewalks on Sherman Ave. in Coeur d'Alene Thursday, as snow continued to fall from the massive snowstorm that blanked the region. Though it was only eight days until Christmas, few shoppers braved the conditions in...
News >  Spokane

Business trash pickup on track

Trash pickup for downtown Spokane businesses is continuing more or less normally today, says Dave Mandyke, of the city's public works department. No residential trash pickups in the city will take place until Monday.The downtown garbage collection will occur as long as trucks can reach...
News >  Spokane

Men suspected of preying on stuck driver

Sometimes good Samaritans aren’t so good.Two Spokane Valley men have been charged with felonies after a woman reported a vehicle prowling in progress. Officers Timothy Jones and Tyler Smith arrived in the area of 17200 E. Mission Avenue shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday and arrested...
News >  Spokane

Tracks in snow lead to burglary arrests

Even suspected burglars don't have it easy in the snow. Two Spokane Valley men are facing felony charges after officers tracked footprints in the snow to one of the men and later found another sleeping on an apartment floor, Spokane Valley Police spokesman Sgt. Dave...
News >  Spokane

Snowshoers, nordic skiers make tracks

All roads and parking areas have been cleared from this week's massive snowfall, Mount Spokane State Park rangers reported Friday morning. Grooming on the parks 25 miles of cross-country skiing trails has been slow as the snow cat struggles to pack the deep powder. Although...
News >  Spokane

Christmas Bureau update

The Christmas Bureau plans to open again Saturday, at 10 a.m., and "serve everyone who comes," says Marilee Roloff, head of Volunteers of America. The bureau has been closed for two days, due to the weather. Both Roloff and Rob McCann, head of Catholic Charities...
News >  Idaho

Let’s Hear It For Winter Storm Heroes

One of the local news stations last night had a segment in which it applauded the neighborhood heroes who helped others out during this Mother of all Snow Storms. There's one in my 'hood. A man down the street has access to a large front-end...
News >  Spokane

Christmas Bureau closed again today

The Christmas Bureau charity will remain closed today, organizers said, and extended hours are being considered for Saturday, the bureau’s final day. In addition to concern about the safety of the people who get food vouchers and toys at the bureau, dozens of volunteers would...
News >  Spokane

Season of Sharing gift distribution canceled

Spokane Valley Partners has closed its center at 10814 East Broadway Ave.and canceled a big gift distribution through its Season of Sharing program. About 650 families were to have taken part. The event hopefully will be rescheduled next week, a volunteer there said today.
News >  Spokane

Be prepared for more snow

Even before most residents will have a chance to dig out from the record snow fall 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."Our next weather system...
News >  Spokane

Spokane Valley plowing

All city offices of Spokane Valley remain closed today as a result of the storm.However, Spokane Valley crews continue their plowing operations and the city has contracted with road graders to work with the five county-contract graders to clear city streets, city spokeswoman Carolbelle Branch...
News >  Spokane

No garbage collection today in Spokane

The city of Spokane will not be picking up garbage today, according to a news release. Thursday and Friday customers can put out twice their normal garbage next week, but mind the Christmas holiday, city public affairs officer Marlene Feist said in the release. Thursday...
News >  Spokane

Limited transit service again Friday

Spokane Transit is restricting service again today to just a handful of routes, and officials warn all buses are running behind schedule because of road conditions.Available routes for the morning commute are:* Route 23 Ash/Maple to Five Mile Park and Ride only.* Route 25 Division*...
News >  Spokane

SR 194 closed in Whitman County

State highway 194 is closed from Pullman to Almota, according to the Washington State Patrol. The road has been cleared for emergency vehicle travel, but is still closed to the public.
News >  Spokane

Hummers to the rescue

George Gee Automotive employees used Hummers today to help nurses and doctors get to the Hospice of Spokane and to reach snowed-in Meals on Wheels clients. Staff at Mid-City Concerns Meals on Wheels had two days worth of meals to deliver to senior citizens.Had it...
News >  Spokane

Kootenai County: Stay home, but don’t forget about your taxes

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Department is asking people to stay home Friday to make room for road and emergency crews. Drifting snow is covering roads across the county, and "crews don’t believe that they will be able to keep up with the drifting throughout the...
News >  Spokane

Panhandle Health District closed Friday

All Panhandle Health District offices will be closed Friday due to severe weather and safety concerns. The health district will reopen Monday and operate regular hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The health district regrets the inconvenience to clients, said spokeswoman Cynthia Taggart.
News >  Spokane

ISP: 51 slideoffs today

Idaho State Police report problems with wrong way drivers on Highway 95, including one drunken driver who was jailed hitting a car and driving away. The person in the car that was hit followed the driver home. Several drivers received citations for reckless driving. In...
News >  Spokane

Highway 41 partially blocked

State Highway 41 is restricted to one lane just south of Rathdrum because a semi-truck slid off, according to the Idaho State Police. ISP recommends avoiding the area for the next several hours.
News >  Spokane

1st and Monroe blocked

A truck is blocking the intersection of 1st and Monroe in downtown Spokane. If you've made it downtown to work today and haven't yet left for home, avoid that frustration.
News >  Spokane

Graders working residential streets

The city’s street grader crew began clearing residential streets this morning and are working in the Eagle Ridge neighborhood on the south side and Indian Trail on the north. Public Works Director Dave Mandyke said those streets were chosen first because they are hilly. The...
News

School is closed, Friday too. It’s vacation time!

Just an FYI: School is closed tomorrow and you can all offically start your holiday vacations early. Here's the Educatiional Service District website that has all the Spokane area school closures and delays. Stay warm out there!
News >  Spokane

Some STA buses moving

Spokane Transit Authority has pared its operation for the evening commute to No. 25 North Division; No. 74 Valley Limited; No. 23 Ash/Maple to the Five Mile Park and Ride lot; and the No. 90 to Sullivan Road and the Mireabeau Park Park and Ride...
News >  Spokane

Road closures in Kootenai County

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Department advises that the following county roads are closed until further notice:* Lancaster Avenue between Huetter and Meyer roads* Wyoming Avenue from state Highway 41 to Meyer Road* Meyer Road between Hayden and Meyer avenues* Greensferry Road north of Prairie Avenue...
News >  Spokane

Spokane County mail carriers at work

Mail is being delivered in Spokane County, but some places will be skipped if streets or sidewalks are deemed too treacherous, said Lisa Nystuen, customer service coordinator for the Spokane post master.
News >  Spokane

Arts events changed

Tonight's performance of "A Christmas Carol - The Musical" at Spokane Civic Theatre has been canceled. Ticketholders will receive a raincheck good for admission to another show this season.Also, the Clarion Brass holiday concert scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled for Monday at 7:30 p.m....
News >  Spokane

CdA will decide whether to open Friday

Coeur d'Alene City Administrator Wendy Hague has closed City Hall, the library and all non-emergency city offices due to the extreme weather conditions. A decision will be made later today whether city offices will be open Friday. Employees have been told not to come in...
News >  Spokane

Help line opened in Kootenai County

Kootenai County's department of emergency management has established a help line for members of the community to call for information on road closures and whether areas have been plowed. That number is 208-446-2292.
News >  Spokane

Snow shuts malls, stores early

Even Santa didn’t show up for work today in downtown Spokane. Numerous businesses shuttered their doors early or never opened after Wednesday’s heavy pounding of snow.The businesses that did open saw far fewer shoppers than normal. The snowfall added insult to an already difficult winter,...
News >  Spokane

Salvation Army closes most operations

The Salvation Army Campus is closed, except for its farmily warming center and Sally's House, which is providing shelter for homeless teens and children.
News >  Spokane

Riverside post office closes

The historic Post Office on Riverside Avenue at Lincoln Street was closed today, but postal employees leaving the building said that other post offices remained open.
News >  Spokane

Coeur d’Alene blows away record

Coeur d'Alene blew through its 24-hour snowfall record with 25 inches reported at the mouth of the lake with about 3 additional inches expected through today. The old record was 16 inches set on Feb. 6, 1955.
News >  Spokane

City establishes snow routes

The city of Spokane is establishing plowed routes that will be most reliable during today's snow emergency. Read past the jump to see them listed, or click here to download the city's map.
News >  Spokane

South Perry businesses brave the weather

While many establishments shut down today, other businesses lighted up their open signs, despite a shortage of customers – and employees. Breakfast was being served at the Perry Street Cafe. Only owners Geoff and Debbie White made it in. White said the cafe, at East...
News >  Spokane

City plows need 72 hours

Marlene Feist, public information officer for the city of Spokane, said that the city typically takes 72 hours to clear all residential streets after it stops snowing. There are lots of variables, she said, including the density of snow and whether plows need to move...
News >  Spokane

Nearly 20 inches at SIA

The National Weather Service said Spokane's official weather reporting site as of 10 a.m. had 19.4 inches of snow, well more than the previous 24-record of 13 inches. But some locations in the area had more than 30 inches, including the Athol and Spirit Lake...
News >  Spokane

Stay home, police chief warns

Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo is telling citizens to stay home due to hazardous road conditions."The roads should be utilized for emergency vehicle travel only," Longo said in a news release.Police and Fire units are responding to an overwhelming number of stranded motorist calls...
News >  Spokane

Check vents and meters, Avista says

Due to the heavy snowfall, Avista is asking its customers to clear snow and ice away from electric and natural gas meters and from appliance vents outside their homes. That will help prevent damage to the meters and will help ensure that appliances, including furnaces,...
News >  Spokane

More snow Saturday-Sunday

A winter storm warning remained in effect until 4 p.m. today, and more snow is on the way Saturday night and Sunday, said Mike Fries, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Spokane.On Friday and Saturday, a new blast of arctic air comes into the...
News >  Spokane

County offices closed

All Spokane County departments, including courts, are closed today. Law enforcement personnel and jail officers should report for their work shifts, however. The county has 44 snow plows, 36 graders, 10 loaders and four de-icing trucks working on county roads. Crews are working around the...
News >  Spokane

CdA official: ‘Off the Richter scale’

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."We’re going to keep at it and keep at it and...
News >  Spokane

Panhandle Health closed

Panhandle Health District offices throughout the five northern Idaho counties it serves will be closed today due to heavy and drifting snow, said Cynthia Taggart, the district's public information officer. Weather permitting, the offices will reopen Friday for regular business hours -- 8 a.m. to...
News >  Spokane

Cancellations, closures

Spokane County offices, including Superior Court and the Sheriff's office, were closed today.The IMAX theater and all other Riverfront Park attractions are closed until further notice, the Spokane Parks department said. A public meeting in Hayden on access to U.S. Highway 95 was cancelled for...
News >  Spokane

No police response in CdA except emergencies

The Coeur d'Alene Police Department said officers will not respond to call in residential areas, except in emergencies.Police officials advised residents to stay home until roads have been cleared."We've got so many disabled vehicles and slideoffs and traffic hazards now," said Natalie West, a report...
News >  Spokane

Police say stay home

Law enforcment agencies are asking people to stay home.The ISP put it this way: "Due to extreme road and weather conditions the Idaho State Police requests that all non emergency traffic stay off the roadways."Spokane Police Officer Teresa Fuller, police spokeswoman. urged employers to make...
News >  Spokane

School closures and delays

Most schools in the region are closed today due to the heavy snow, although a few are delayed. Click through to read the latest list.