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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bellevue crews clear roads to help with garbage pickup

City crews are working to clear neighborhood streets of snow curb to curb in advance of resumed garbage collection on Dec. 29, weather permitting, and to help the Postal Service get to areas of Bellevue where mail delivery was interrupted because of recent heavy snowfalls. Crews will also keep priority arterials passable and try to finish plowing neighborhood streets.

Mike Jackman, Utilities Operations and Maintenance assistant director, said that crews are trying to plow curb to curb as much as they can so garbage collection and mail delivery can resume for all Bellevue residents.

“Wherever possible, we need people to move their cars off streets,” said Jackman. “This will allow City crews to clear streets faster and remove snow that might prevent access for Allied Waste’s trucks and mail delivery vehicles. It will also help prevent flooding by allowing plow operators to clear storm drains along curbs to capture rain and snow melt. We appreciate the community’s support and patience as we continue tackling challenges caused by this long-running snow event.”

Allied Waste Services, the City’s contractor, will begin to pick up extra garbage, recycling and yard debris when service resumes Dec. 29, weather permitting, and is asking residents to please make sure containers are free of snowpack and that cars are not blocking areas where trucks need to navigate for pickup.

With warming temperatures and rain forecast, City officials are also asking citizens to help by clearing storm drains in front of homes and businesses of snow and ice or debris, if possible, to avoid flooding once the snow starts to melt and rain begins. Bellevue has 20,000 public storm drains.
Jackman said crews will continue to work to stay on top of changing weather conditions. Crews started plowing roads on Dec. 12 when snow first appeared. Since then, a foot or more of snow has fallen in some parts of Bellevue.

Drivers should remain extremely careful, stick to priority arterials when possible and watch for ice, compact snow, and possible deep water over roadways as snow melts. To report hazardous road conditions, call the Utilities 24-hour emergency number 425-452-7840. See snow response priority arterials at www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Transportation/snow_response_priorities_map.pdf

Missed garbage pickups in bad weather and holiday schedule – Allied Waste is planning to resume regular pickup of garbage, recycling and yard debris beginning Dec. 29, weather permitting. Allied does not pick up on New Year’s Day. Customers whose regular pickup day is Thursday will be picked up on Friday next week, and those whose regular pickup day is Friday will be picked up on Saturday, weather permitting.

Allied Waste typically does not pick up if snow or ice prevent safe navigation by trucks on neighborhood streets. If your garbage, recycling and yard debris are not collected, take materials back inside. Extra garbage, recycling and yard debris will be collected at no additional charge on the next regularly scheduled collection day (a week later). Excess materials due to missed collection can be put in a temporary container, such as a box or paper bag marked "Garbage," "Recycling" or "Yard Debris.” Customers who have questions concerning their collection should call Allied Waste's customer service at 425-452-4762.

City Programs and Community Centers - City Community Centers are closed, and all recreational programs are canceled. Garden D’lights is open again. Gravel trails still have snowpack, but the patio and pathways are clear. The parking lot has been plowed and sanded.
Emergency Shelters - Bellevue is operating an emergency overnight shelter at Crossroads Community Center, 16000 NE 10th St., from 9:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Crossroads will not be open until 9:30 p.m. See shelter details at www.bellevuewa.gov/Word/Parks/Parks_shelter.doc

See www.bellevuewa.gov/Extreme_weather_response.htm  for detailed information on preparations for snow and cold weather, how to prevent frozen pipes and other tips, as well as handy phone numbers.
More Tips:
• If you have a life-threatening situation, call 911.
• To report hazardous road conditions, down or damaged stop or yield signs, water main breaks, lack of water, sewer overflows, please call City of Bellevue Utilities 24-hour emergency number 425-452-7840.

• To report gas leaks, power outages, and down power lines, please call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773.

• 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.

If you have any questions about the food being spoiled: When in doubt, throw it out!

• Outdoor faucets and pipes, and pipes in unheated garages and crawl spaces are especially vulnerable to freezing. Insulate them with newspaper, rags or other insulating material. Cover with plastic and secure with string or wire. It’s okay to insulate the outside of your meter box, but please don’t put materials such as Styrofoam peanuts inside, as this makes it difficult to perform periodic maintenance. For illustrated details on how to prevent frozen pipes, see www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Utilities/Preventing_Frozen_Pipes.pdf
• If a water pipe breaks inside your home or business, 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 that you may use in an emergency. 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.
• If you are taking a bus, check to see if schedules have changed because of weather conditions. Bus service is limited.
• Roads that seem dry or just wet may actually be slippery with black ice. Take it slow in ice and snow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady areas; all are hot spots for black ice.
• Keep sidewalks next to your home clear of ice and snow, but be careful not to overexert yourself.

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Contact Information

Utilities Department
450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Phone: 425-452-7840
E-mail: utilities@bellevuewa.gov?cc=mmay@bellevuewa.gov

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