December 20, 2008 in News

Another half foot expected

By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photo

Mike Terry, 21 of Spokane, works to free his car from under a snow berm near the corner of 8th and McClellan on Friday. It took Terry 2 1/2 hours to dig out the 1999 Acura and the first 15minutes were spend just finding the car.
(Full-size photo)

Don’t put away that snow shovel.

More snow is coming. A new storm is expected to last all day Sunday and could drop as much as 6 inches on Coeur d’Alene and Spokane, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm, which is expected to begin 10 p.m. today, could dump as much as 10 inches on the Palouse and other areas south and west of Spokane, meteorologist Jonathan Fox said.

“It will snow all day and even into the night,” he said. “We would expect to see snow continuing Monday morning. It’s sort of a long drawn out event.”

Spokane City crews made progress today on plowing and began removing the huge berms of snow piled in many downtown streets. Plans also called for plowing the Browne’s Addition Tuesday and Wednesday, and that schedule will remain regardless of what new snow falls, city spokeswoman Marlene Feist said.

Even as crews made progress on the record snowfall, drivers continued to have trouble. The Idaho State Police reported numerous slide-offs and crashes early Saturday.

And north of Spokane, the Washington State Patrol and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office closed the Newport Highway for several hours following a two-car injury collision that occurred about 2 p.m. at Farwell Road. As a result of the alcohol-related collision, traffic was diverted around the crash until about 4:30 p.m.

City officials continue to urge caution by drivers around the city’s 36 trucks and 21 road graders that are moving snow. If the new storm drops about 2 inches, the city will pull the trucks off residential streets to again plow the arterials, Feist said.

“They will keep the graders in the residential areas regardless of new snow,” she said.

But for those residents who have not yet been plowed, the new storm could mean that it will take the city longer to reach them, Feist said.

“The hardest part is when you have storm after storm,” she said. “Even the first 36 hours on this last storm, we were doing a lot of the same arterials over and over again just to keep people moving as best you could.”

That storm-after-storm scenario unfortunately pretty much makes up the forecast for the coming week, Fox said.

After this storm ends, the best chance of another snow storm comes Wednesday night – Christmas Eve – he said. That snow storm is expected to last into Christmas Day.

“If I had to guess, it looks like 6 inches or more are possible in Spokane,” Fox said. “That would certainly be true into eastern Idaho with the heavier amounts in the mountains.”

Then on Friday, a new storm could come and dump even more snow. But Fox said he could not predict an amount of snowfall.

The temperature won’t help matters much. The lows on Saturday reached minus 18 at the Spokane International Airport - beating the previous record of minus 6 set in 1983 - and minus 23 at a weather station southwest of Cheney. However, it got just below zero at Felts Field.

The highs for this week are not expected to get out of the 20s.

“There is a glimmer of hope that by the time we get to next weekend that we actually see temperatures above freezing,” Fox said. “But between that time and now we have several chances of seeing significant snowfall.”

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