January 21, 1996 in Nation/World

Snow Back With A Vengeance Roads Slick; Drivers Stymied; More Snow On Way

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Matt Beasley slumped on the front of his snow-covered Dodge Diplomat. Steam poured from the tired car.

Beasley, 16, had been trying to drive to a friend’s South Hill house for nearly three hours. The trip normally takes five minutes.

“This is about the eighth time I’ve been stuck today,” he said.

Beasley wasn’t the only one.

Snow that blanketed the area caused traffic accidents, delayed city buses and made hills impassable.

Saturday’s storm dumped about 5 inches of snow around the city by early evening, the National Weather Service said. Four inches of snow was already on the ground when the snow began to fall about 8 a.m.

Snow flurries are likely to continue today and Monday, forecasters said. Accumulations are expected to total up to 2 more inches.

“I think the worst of it is over,” said Verne Ballard of the weather service.

Washington Water Power reported power outages to about 1,000 customers scattered across the region.

City road crews scrambled to keep major arterials and bus routes passable and planned to clear secondary arterials overnight.

After trying five different routes, Beasley finally managed to get his car within three houses of his 26th Avenue destination.

“I got stuck each way,” he said.

Heavy snow kept road crews and law enforcement the busiest during the early afternoon.

“Anywhere there’s been a light or a stop sign it’s been bad,” said Julie Glenn, a city employee working the Snow Line.

Police closed Ray Avenue for about 30 minutes until crews could plow the road. About 25 cars were forced to park between 17th and 29th avenues.

City buses crept gingerly along icy streets. Several found themselves sideways and in need of a tow truck.

“It’s pretty much been a nightmare,” said a Spokane Transit Authority supervisor.

Accidents also snarled traffic on Interstate 90 and other state roadways around Spokane County, keeping state troopers busy.

In North Idaho, state trooper Eric Mescher was injured when a vehicle slammed into his police cruiser while he was investigating an accident near Rose Lake.

Mescher, 45, suffered head and neck injuries. He was treated and released from Kootenai Medical Center Saturday.

The accident happened at 9 a.m. on Interstate 90 near Rose Lake. Mescher stopped on the side of the freeway to check on a vehicle that had rolled over.

While he was still in his patrol car, an eastbound Chevrolet Suburban driven by Heather Yakely, 25, of Spokane, crashed into his vehicle.

Kootenai County authorities said Yakely lost control while changing lanes.

Yakely was not injured nor were the six passengers in her vehicle.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: GETTING PLOWED Spokane road crews urge residents to mark driveways with reflectors or flags to avoid being plowed in. They also ask that parked cars be removed.

This sidebar appeared with the story: GETTING PLOWED Spokane road crews urge residents to mark driveways with reflectors or flags to avoid being plowed in. They also ask that parked cars be removed.


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