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Monday, January 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Spokane Public Schools to start late Monday after snowy weekend causes crashes, closes passes

UPDATED: Sun., Jan. 12, 2020

Pedestrians guard themselves, on the corner of Sprague Avenue and Post Street, against the Friday snow storm that hit the Spokane area, Jan. 10, 2020. More snow is in the forecast for the city on Sunday. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Pedestrians guard themselves, on the corner of Sprague Avenue and Post Street, against the Friday snow storm that hit the Spokane area, Jan. 10, 2020. More snow is in the forecast for the city on Sunday. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Public Schools will start two hours late Monday as crews continue to deal with a snowy start to the weekend that continued Sunday.

The district announced a delayed start Monday to give city crews time to finish their plow of Spokane and as a precaution for icy roads during the morning commute. There’s a potential for more snow overnight Sunday with temperatures projected to plummet throughout the week.

After a snowy start to the weekend, Sunday brought more flakes to the Spokane area, resulting in some crashes and road closures throughout the region.

Colder temperatures are expected to usher in the new week, with highs on Tuesday and Wednesday forecast in the low 20s and high teens, according to the National Weather Service Spokane office.

Forecasters initially projected about 3 inches of snow Sunday in the city, but temperatures above freezing downtown resulted in big, wet flakes throughout much of the day and little accumulation. An additional 1 inch to 2 inches is expected in Spokane overnight on Sunday, according to the weather service, with heavier bands of snow east of Coeur d’Alene.

Meanwhile, city crews continued their clearing of Spokane’s streets ahead of schedule. A full-city plow should be completed by 10 p.m. on Sunday, according to a news release earlier in the day.

City of Spokane employees began plowing at 5:30 p.m. Friday as several inches fell. To prepare for the Monday morning commute, crews will work on arterials overnight Sunday and early in the morning to keep traffic flowing, the release says.

The high temperature Monday is projected to be about 22 degrees, which is about 10 degrees below average, said Amanda Young, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Spokane.

Spokane schools won’t be the only ones starting late Monday. The Garfield-Palouse School District will start at 10 a.m. Monday, an hour-and-a-half late, district officials announced Sunday.

While temperatures will be cold early next week, more snow isn’t expected until Thursday.

Several crashes were reported around the Spokane area, including one on State Highway 206 toward Mt. Spokane. Traffic was blocked beginning just before noon and crews later cleared the roadway, which reopened Sunday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

The Washington Department of Transportation closed Stevens Pass just after 2:30 p.m. to remove vehicles that had skidded and crashed due to heavy snow. The pass was still closed several hours later, and a planned closure was scheduled for Monday at 4 a.m. for avalanche control measures.

Eastbound lanes of Snoqualmie Pass were closed on Sunday morning because of vehicle spin outs, according to the Washington Department of Transportation. As of Sunday afternoon, traffic was permitted in both directions, with chains required on vehicles without all-wheel drive and oversize vehicles prohibited.

Traffic was moving slowly in both directions Sunday afternoon, with compact snow and ice on the roadway, according to the Transportation Department.

Avista Utilities Corp. reported dozens of outages in Eastern Washington and North Idaho on Sunday afternoon, affecting about 8,700 regional customers at its peak Sunday evening.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort near Sandpoint reported Sunday afternoon that a regional power outage had the mountain’s chairlifts working on backup power.

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