Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


City prepares for winter roads


November 21, 2011

It is being predicted that this winter is going to be a repeat of last year. That could mean cold and wet. When it gets really cold, it means cold and snow.

The City of Lake Stevens is doing its part to prepare itself to provide snow and ice control. This includes getting the four snowplows setup, readying the ice control equipment, stock piling sand around the community, and setting up internal operations.

Once a snow and ice event does occur, the City follows an adopted snow and ice control plan. This plan establishes route priorities to ensure that the main arterial roadway system gets the highest level of attention during a storm event with a focus on emergency services for fire, police, medical, and school bus routes.

This plan can be viewed on the City’s web site at

So what if you don’t live on a priority route roadway? Chances are that during a snow event, you won’t see your roadway plowed or sanded. So you need to be prepared if you decide to venture out into a snowy road condition.

If you don’t have to, do not drive during a snow and ice event. If you do, try to park your vehicle near a designated high priority snow route (as identified in the City’s Snow and Ice Control Plan) and walk to your vehicle. Often it is easier to walk in snow then drive.

Another option is to chain up your vehicle or use snow tires with studs. If properly used chained and studded tires can get most vehicles through a typically western Washington snow and ice event.

Also, take some warm clothes if you venture out. If you do get stuck, you will need to keep warm until you can get some assistance.

Other items you can carry with you that may prove to be invaluable is a snow shovel, de-icing (ice melting) compound, bag of sand, ice scraper, jumper cables, a blanket, waterproof hat and boots, and water. Now this is likely a given for most people but a fully charged cell phone is a must before you leave home.

Before the cold weather hits, you should be checking your car over. Check the antifreeze level and recharge if it is not effective for low temperature. Check the battery and replace it if it’s old. Check the tires, including the spare, air pressure. Be sure to keep the gas tank near full to avoid freezing water in the fuel line. It is also a good idea to have plenty of fuel in case you get stuck in traffic.

So before you decide to drive in the snow, ask yourself, is this really necessary? If not, stay home and enjoy the snow. If you must, be prepared in advance. Develop a checklist and make sure you have what you need before you venture out into the elements.

While you hope that you never are in a situation where you will need to use these extra carry along items, you will be glad to have them in the event you do.


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