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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.

Rain today could raise flooding risk

A storm expected to arrive this morning should bring significant precipitation and above-freezing temperatures, adding weight to already-strained roofs and raising the risk of street and small-stream flooding. Weather officials said the snow on the ground – 25 inches Monday at Spokane International Airport – should absorb much of the new precipitation.

Split decision on schools

Education officials say they were ready to start school Monday and weren’t consulted before the Spokane County sheriff publicly called on them to extend winter break by an extra day. But some districts – including Mead, Central Valley and West Valley – later decided to cancel school today, as well. Spokane Public Schools planned to hold classes today.

Man in custody after shots fired at plow driver

One man is being questioned in connection with shots fired at a plow driver in private parking lot, police said today. The men apparently argued about each other's driving.

Snow shovel shipments arriving in Spokane

An employee at the Home Depot on East Sprague has confirmed snow shovels are back in stock at that store. Hundreds of shovels arrived today.

Drifting snow closes highways

Several state highways are closed due to drifting snow, officials said. Whitman County is basically locked down.

Plows back to main routes today

Spokane snow plows are primarily working back on the snow emergency routes and major arterials, officials said this morning.

This winter’s not for wimps

Have we become a city of (gulp) snow wimps? Have we turned into (heaven forbid) Seattle?

Cold coming after snow

The National Weather Service warned of continued cold today after the thermometer went into freefall Friday afternoon. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Sunday night and Monday morning, when another 6 inches of snow could fall in Spokane with 8 inches possible in Coeur d'Alene.

Snow causing problems for pedestrians

The huge snow berms lining Spokane Valley streets have been causing problems other than narrow driveways and line of sight-blocking height. Sidewalks are mostly choked with several feet of snow, forcing pedestrians into streets to walk or wait for the bus. That has Spokane Valley resident Larry Miller upset and wondering why the city doesn’t enforce an ordinance that calls for property owners to maintain clear sidewalks.

Snowstorms drain plow budgets for cities

If the snowplowing budgets of Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake were written down on paper and run through a snowblower, they might look a little better than they do now. The record-breaking amounts of snowfall in December made both cites blow through their snow removal budgets faster than water over Spokane Falls in spring.


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