Heavy snow and icy roads are snarling morning commutes throughout the region this morning.
While downtown roads are wet, traffic on the north side of town and along the highways remain slick and snow-packed, causing several pileups. Spokane Police Officer Theresa Fuller reports outlying areas remain bogged down as crews work to tow stuck vehicles. Traffic at many spots along Interstate 90 has slowed to 30 miles per hour, she said. Those trying to get into town from the South Hill should wait a while to avoid problems, she said.
“It’s messy everywhere,” Fuller said.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Sevigney reported Highway 291 has been closed at Big Sandy as crews work to clear multiple collisions.
Cars traveling along North Fort George White Drive toward Spokane Falls Community College were slowed by icy conditions on hills and bridges. North T.J. Meenach Drive toward Northwest Boulevard on the west side of town was a parking lot just before 8 a.m.
Law enforcement advised those traveling this morning to slow down and be aware of other motorists.
Pat Raffee, a spokeswoman for the Kootenai County elections office, said weather and road conditions might delay poll workers returning ballots to the elections office for counting tonight. Voters there are deciding mayoral and council races in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls, among other issues.
A band of heavy snow was pushing west to east across Spokane and into the Coeur d’Alene area this morning, through 10 a.m., the National Weather Service reported. A half inch to an inch of snow was expected.
Any accumulation will likely melt away with the rain as the temperature in Spokane is expected to rise to 38 degrees by 1 p.m. The chance of rain continues until 4 p.m. Temperatures are expected to rise to highs in the mid-40s for the rest of the week with more rain expected.