Wednesday’s Latest Weather, Closure/Opening Updates

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Carolyn Rosenfield found an easier way to get around Burien – by cross country skiing on SW 172nd in 3 Tree Point. Photo by John Naubert.

10:45am 12/24/08 UPDATE: The soggy rain transition period continues, and with it comes potential new dangers like clogged storm drains, slushy roads, large walls of plowed, heavy snow and excessive roof loads.

Some updates:

  • The City of Burien’s offices will be open until 2pm this afternoon.
  • All Burien Parks and Recreation programs are canceled for the week.
  • Far as we know, most restaurants in Burien are open today (including The Mark)
  • Normandy Park residents have until 3:30pm to haul their own garbage/recycling to one of two locations for disposal (think of yourself as Santa; read this post here for details)
  • Metro Transit is focusing on core service until weather and road conditions improve, which means bus service will be significantly limited during the weather emergency. Information about bus status is available on Metro’s Ice & Snow page, which is updated frequently. You can also call the Metro Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000, but call volumes are high and there may be a wait to talk to a CIO representative.
  • Burien’s garbage & recycling service has been canceled for today, Dec. 24 (Waste Management)
  • Residents are advised to avoid piling snow on top of storm drains when shoveling sidewalks and driveways. Storm drains need to be kept clear, so when the snow melts the runoff has some place to go. Residents are encouraged to clear snow from storm drains, when streets are clear of cars, after snow and ice starts to thaw. Clearing snow from storm drains will help to reduce the amount of localized flooding, which is likely to occur based on weather forecasts of warming temperatures and rain.

Here’s some info from the City of Burien’s website on excessive roof loads:

Recent weather conditions in the region resulting in abnormally heavy snowfalls may result in excessive roof loads on buildings due to the accumulation of snow and ice.

The series of snow storms that have hit the state have left several inches of snow and ice on roofs, which have added to the total weight that trusses and rafters must support. A cubic foot of snow can weigh from seven pounds for snow that is new and dry up to 30 pounds for old, compacted snow. Rain falling on accumulated snow will add even more weight. The combination of these factors and the recent forecast which calls for more snow and rain over the next couple of days may cause an excess of snow loading on many roofs.

Watch for Early Warning Signs of Overloading:

  • Be on the watch for these warning signs:
  • Severe roof leaks, indicating torn roof membranes.
  • Ripples or bends in metal supports.
  • Loud popping noises emanating from the building structure.
  • Water ponds in areas where it never accumulated before.
  • Obvious deformities in the roof.

What to do if you Suspect Overloading
When snow removal is necessary, it should be remembered that unsafe procedures may cause a collapse and injuries. Anyone working on a roof must have adequate fall protection and keep in mind that workers and others nearby can be injured by snow being dumped from a roof.

Once it has been determined that the snow must be removed, there are several options for snow removal.

Most roofing contractors are equipped to handle snow removal from the roof of your home and buildings.

Another option is to remove the snow yourself. The best way to do this is to get up on your roof and push the snow off with a broom or shovel. It is important to use ladders, safety ropes and take necessary precautions.

Snow rakes also can be used to remove snow. When using a snow rake, use extreme caution when working near overhead electrical power lines. Also, avoid excessive scraping on the roof or trying to chip off any ice.

And finally, here’s a cool website where kids of all ages can watch Santa’s progress as he delivers his goodies around the world:

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