SEATTLE - Local road crews are busy loading their trucks with salt and de-icer, for all the roads and bridges around the region.
“It’s supposed to drop to freezing tonight, so we’ll just put out the salt to try and prevent ice,” says Patrick Carter, a driver for the Seattle Department of Transportation.
They’re trying to prevent problems for the morning commute. Tomorrow, many people will be heading back to work for the first time since the holidays. If it’s icy, drivers say it could get messy.
“Traffic just stops, and people forget how to drive,” says Shash Mody. “You always have to be careful about people braking suddenly.”
“I think when it freezes, they’re not prepared so they just go flying like usual,” adds Troy Gnoinsky. “Then accidents can happen.”
State troopers say in the South Sound, wrecks are already happening because drivers aren’t slowing down for the slick conditions. In Tacoma, crews have been prepping the roads, but they may have to close some of the steeper hills if too much ice accumulates overnight. Ice could also cause problems for the hills of Seattle. Amy Cline lives in Queen Anne and says she may just stay home tomorrow.
“It’s not worth taking a chance on that hill,” she says. “Cars will slide, its ice, and you can’t control it.”
Crews says they’ll be keeping track of the changing conditions throughout the night, and laying down salt and brine wherever they need to. But since they can’t control the weather, their best advice is for drivers to plan ahead for the morning commute.
“Be safe when you’re going down the hills,” says Carter. “Take your time, there could be a lot of black ice out there.”
SDOT has information on winter weather preparedness, including a snow route map, here: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/winterweather.htm.