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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 19, 2012

Freezing rain causes power outages

About 1,000 Bellevue residences throughout the city were without power Thursday afternoon with freezing rain bringing down power lines. To report power outages or downed power lines, residents should call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773. Check PSE power outage updates and see safety tips on what to do if you have an outage.

To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, do not use gas generators or charcoal grills indoors. King County explains in multiple languages how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Check on family and neighbors to make sure they are ok.

Although many priority roads in Bellevue are passable, compact snow and ice remains on some streets, and freezing rain could make driving extremely difficult. Motorists are urged to monitor forecasts and road conditions, to use traction tires or devices, and to drive only if necessary until weather conditions improve.

The city will update its Extreme Weather Response page as necessary ahead of commute times and as conditions and forecasts change.

Crews will continue to work around the clock to plow, sand and deice, focusing on arterials and neighborhood priority routes ahead of commutes and before beginning operations on neighborhood side streets.

Garbage and Recycling Service
Because of hazardous road conditions, Allied Waste's trucks are not running. If your pickup is missed, please put out a double load on your regular collection day next week. Parks

Closures and Cancellations
As a general rule, if the Bellevue School District is closed or closes due to a weather event, all Parks & Community Services classes and programs will be cancelled for the entire/remainder of the day. If the school district is on a delayed schedule, then call the parks facility for an updated status report.

Select facilities may be open for drop-in activities at a modified level. If you are unable to reach the facility or program then check the Parks & Community Services general information number at 425-452-6885.

Safety Tips:
• Call Bellevue Utilities at 425-452-7840 to report flooding, hazardous roads, water main breaks and sewer overflows.
• To report gas leaks, power outages and down power lines, please call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773.
• Prepare for difficult commutes – plan your routes and avoid peak commute hours if at all possible. Drive only if necessary and go slow, allowing extra following distance.
• Treat dark intersections as four-way stops.
• If you use a grill or hibachi to cook or a backup generator, keep them outside with the back- up generator. They can produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.
• Build emergency Kits for your family to have at home, in the car and at school or work. Your kit should sustain you for 72 hours or longer.  Place in your Emergency Kit: Food, water, first aid kit, a small tool kit, seasonal clothing, eye protection, flashlight with batteries, gloves, sanitary supplies, sleeping bags and extra blankets.  Remember to add those special supplies if you have small children or you care for a someone with special needs. Items for your pets should also be included.
• To prevent frozen outdoor pipes, insulate them with newspaper, rags or other insulating material. Cover with plastic and secure with string or wire.
• If a water pipe breaks, immediately turn off the main water shut-off valve and/or water meter to control flooding and water damage. Then call a plumber. The main water shut-off valve is usually located in the basement, garage or outdoors by the foundation. If there is no main shut-off valve, there is a valve in the meter box. Turn clockwise with an adjustable wrench.
• Stay inside if possible instead of trying to navigate slippery walkways or roads. If you must go out, have traction devices in your vehicle. Test new chains to make sure they fit (some may not, even though the box says they fit a certain model). Take a cell phone with you in case your car gets stuck.
• Locate alternate routes and alternative parking if you live on streets in steep terrain. Stay on main roads. Do not park in intersections or block streets.
• Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady areas; all are hot spots for black ice.
• Give snowplows room to work. The plows are wide and can cross the centerline or shoulder. Do not tailgate and try not to pass. If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the snow cloud.
• Keep sidewalks next to your home clear of ice and snow, but be careful not to overexert yourself.


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Contact Information

Bellevue Operations and Maintenance & 24-Hour Emergency Response
Bellevue, WA 98004
Phone: 425-452-7840
E-mail: OMSupport@bellevuewa.gov

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