LEWIS COUNTY, Wash. - Temperatures fell below freezing Thursday evening, then precipitation fell. By Friday morning, traffic accident reports told of treacherous conditions and the snow continued.
Mark Mata from Clark’s Towing joined two more along the southbound lanes of Interstate-5 in Chehalis. The group tried removing a semi-truck that appeared to have slipped off the roadway, chewing through a fence before coming to rest on the snowy shoulder.
"We’ve got a rollover in Longview right now," said Mark Mata from Carl’s Towing "We’re trying to get this one out because they need us as soon as possible."
The snow continued to fall along I-5 and most everywhere else. The Daily Chronicle newsroom reported 15-inches in some areas of the county.
It was more snow than Jim Hickman has seen in fall in Pe Ell for a while. Neighborhood kids skied through town, tractors also came in handy. Hickman says the community is generous like that.
"Oh, he’s just a Pe Ell do-gooder," said Jim, "He’s probably plowing somebody’s driveway."
Until the afternoon, a large tree blocked traffic through SR 9 east of the community. Crews removed the debris and reopened the highway but forced some to think backroads.
"I went around through the Boistfort valley," he said.
Roads were slick with compact snow and some slush. Hickman his detour was slow-going, trying to avoid a mess.
"I didn’t want to end up in the ditch."
His friend Jewel Sanderlin hoped to visit Port Angeles but the weather had other ideas.
"We had to cancel our plans, which is a bummer because meeting up with my sisters," she said. "We haven’t seen all of us together in forever."
Instead, she played with her 14-year-old son Johnny in the snow. Their dog’s belly was just high enough to clear the inches that covered the front yard.
"This is the most snow I’ve seen since I’ve lived here," she said.
We’ve seen this too in Seattle. Some kids say snow makes a perfect excuse to ski across town.
The country roads stayed open but also treacherous. Some drivers failed to maintain their vehicle’s connection with official lanes of travel.
Areas of Lewis County could see 10 more inches of snowfall overnight and into the weekend.
The winter storm kept some families hunkered down. But, if there’s a place where snowfall can keep neighbors from abandoning a bunch of do-gooders, Lewis County just might know a good place.
"It’s weird how people end up in Pe Ell," said Hickman.
Pacific County to the west warned the snow could turn into freezing rain, accumulating near 1/2 inch.
The Winter Storm Warning is predicted to continue through Saturday.