Snow, accidents piling up in Spokane area
UPDATE AT 5:00 PM Spokane County 911 has received 91 reports of traffic collisions since 8 a.m. this morning, the Spokane Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
Most appear to be on roadways with higher posted speeds or roadways with steep hills, the sheriff’s office said.
Additionally, several schools have announced closures or activity cancellations. Here’s a roundup of the latest announcements.
— All after-school activities in the Clarkston School District has been cancelled tonight;
— Buses to Almira Elementary/Middle School will run two hours late Thursday. There will be no school breakfast or pre-school;
— Steptoe School will be closed Thursday.
— Mary Walker School District will have a 2 hour late start Thursday. There will be no preschool.
Scroll down this page to see school announcements made earlier in the day.
UPDATE AT 2:56 PM The East Valley School District No. 361 has cancelled all after-school activities on account of snow.
UPDATE AT 1:10 PM
The Spokane Police Department reported 12 snow-related collisions have occurred in the city since 8 a.m. today.
The Coeur d’Alene Police Department has reported 25 accidents and slide-offs between noon on Tuesday and noon today.
UPDATE AT 1 PM
Lewis-Clark State College in Coeur d’Alene has canceled all of its classes for this evening due to bad weather.
The business office in Coeur d’Alene also closed and the college’s Lewiston campus closed at noon.
Students should check to see if North Idaho College is open Thursday to see if classes will be held. If NIC is closed, LCSC will also be closed.
Lewiston had 7 inches of snow by morning with more expected this afternoon before easing by evening.
Information on snow closures will be released by 6 a.m. for daytime classes and 1 p.m. for night classes. Updates can be found at 800-254-4526 or www.nic.edu.
UPDATE AT 11:42 PM
As snow begins to accumulate today, emergency crews are responding to a series of accidents, including one on T.J. Meenach Bridge in northwest Spokane.
Spokane police closed Meenach Drive south of Northwest Boulevard while crews tried to clear traffic.
A 3-car accident on the northbound lanes at 11 a.m. triggered a tie up and other problems on the hill.
A fire crew called for extrication put 30 to 40 gallons of water onto the bridge, police said.
Elsewhere, a semi truck jackknifed on Interstate 90 near Sullivan Road about 10:44 a.m., and a westbound driver went off I-90 near Pines Road.
Another accident was reported on the treacherous Freya Street hill at 15th Avenue.
This afternoon, a driver lost control on I-90 westbound near Evergreen Road. The vehicle flipped and struck a utility pole.
Argonne Road hill was slowed during part of the afternoon, too.
The National Weather Service said today’s snow storm should ease off early this evening after the metropolitan area receives about several inches of snow. Downtown Spokane has already received upwards of 3 inches.
Accumulations should ease during the overnight hours.
Coeur d’Alene should see additional accumulations tonight and on Thursday as well.
Another snow storm is expected on Thursday with several inches possible on top of what already has fallen. Yet more storms are likely on Friday night and Saturday morning, Sunday night and Monday morning and Tuesday night and Wednesday. Some rain might migrate northward on Friday night and again on Saturday night, according to computer models.
Street and highway crews were fully geared up to clear the snow as it falls, officials said.
Law officers were calling for sand trucks at some locations.
Spokane International Airport was reporting delays, mainly on incoming flights, including one from Seattle.
Spokane Transit Authority reported it was on normal schedules and routes, but some delays were occurring.
Snoqualmie Pass was open at noon, but had been closed for a short time today for avalanche control.
Lookout Pass was also open to traffic. Cameras showed a snow-covered roadway.