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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Public Schools delays classes, Mead cancels as snow makes for slick commute

Spokane and Coeur d’Alene received 4-6 inches of snow by Tuesday morning, leading to canceled school for some students and vehicle collisions across the region.

The Spokane area saw the most snow across the Inland Northwest, with some areas around the South Hill getting as much as 7-8 inches, meteorologist Steven Van Horn said. North Idaho and the Palouse also got 2-4 inches, he said.

The morning commute kicked off with a rough start after an articulated Spokane Transit Authority Bus traveling to Liberty Lake slid into a Jersey barrier and blocked traffic in all eastbound lanes, according to STA spokeswoman Carly Cortright. There were no injuries in the collision and no prolonged disruptions to STA services, she said.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office estimated there were about 30 collisions by 10 a.m. The Spokane Police Department estimated the same number within the city by the same time.

The snow will likely make a return this week, beginning on Wednesday and lasting into Thursday, although Spokane will likely only see an inch or less, Van Horn said. Most of the snow on Thursday will be on Lookout and Stevens passes, the latter of which could see 2 feet.

“Any travel over the Cascades is going to be looking at periods of heavy snow between Thursday and Friday morning,” he said.

Spokane could see additional snow over the weekend, he said, although those chances are less likely.

Temperatures will gradually increase through the week, with highs in the upper 30s and low 40s, Van Horn said.

The city of Spokane began a full city plow on Tuesday morning, which should take about three days to complete once it stops snowing, the city said in a release. Under the city’s snow plan, crews will work around the clock to clear snow from arterials and hills, followed by secondary routes, including schools and hospitals, then residential areas. Business districts will be cleared at night.

Most Spokane-area school districts delayed or canceled classes on Tuesday as overnight snow created treacherous driving conditions. In Spokane County, Cheney Public Schools and the Deer Park, Great Northern, Mead, Medical Lake, Orchard Prairie, Reardan-Edwall and Riverside school districts closed for the day. Spokane Public Schools and the Central Valley, Freeman, Liberty, Nine Mile Falls and West Valley school districts announced two-hour delays. East Valley School District announced a 90-minute delay.

Pride Prep canceled classes, and Gonzaga Prep announced classes would be taught virtually.

In Kootenai County, Coeur d’Alene Public Schools and the Lakeland and Post Falls school districts announced two-hour delays.

Washington State University’s Spokane campus also announced a two-hour delay. Whitworth University canceled the first two classes of the day.