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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, December 22, 2008

Bellevue road conditions improve but caution urged

While the snow stopped in Bellevue and temperatures rose a bit Monday, crews continued to work full tilt on city roads. Some neighborhood streets, however, especially severely steep ones, remain hazardous due to compact snow and ice or deep accumulations of snow. City officials continue advising drivers to exercise extreme caution, use priority arterials, watch for snow and ice and use traction devices, such as chains, cables and studded tires. See snow response priority arterials. With temperatures expected to drop below freezing again overnight, crews will again work through the night to plow, de-ice and sand roads.

"We’re working as fast as we can on neighborhood streets and doing our best to get to everyone. But it's slow going. Some streets are so steep, even our four-wheel drive plows with chains are having a tough time getting up them," said Mike Jackman, Utilities Operations and Maintenance assistant director. "We understand that residents need to get to the store or pharmacy, to their job or the airport, and we’re making every effort to help," Jackman continued. "But, it’s difficult, slow going, and it's going to take some time. We appreciate everyone's patience and cooperation."

Jackman expects Tuesday’s commute to be another slow one. Travelers should expect delays and motorists should go slow, the single most important driving tactic to stay safe. See the ExtremeWeatherResponse pages for detailed information on canceled programs, shelters, closed facilities, preparations for snow and cold weather, how to prevent frozen pipes and other tips, as well as handy phone numbers.

Road Conditions -- Roads are open as of 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 22, but some neighborhood roads may be difficult to navigate. Drivers in danger of getting stuck should make every attempt to move their vehicles completely off the roadway. Parallel park as close to the curb as possible if you must park on the road. Don’t park sideways on the road or in an intersection. If you have to leave your car, place your phone number visible on the dashboard. Abandoned vehicles may be towed. To avoid being impounded, return to your vehicle as soon as practical.

City Programs and Community Centers, Meetings -- City Community Centers are closed, including the Magic Season Ice Arena at Bellevue’s Downtown Park, Bellevue Botanical Garden and Garden d'Lights. All recreational programs are canceled.

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 

Missed garbage pickups in bad weather -- Allied Waste trucks generally do not run if snow or ice prevent safe collection on neighborhood streets. If your garbage, recycling or 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." If you have questions concerning your collection, call Allied Waste's customer service at 425-452-4762.

Reminder for building owners with flat roofs -- The Development Services Department reminds commercial building owners and managers to check roof drains on flat roofs to ensure they are clear of snow and ice. There is a risk in the next week of rainwater overloading roofs due to blocked drains. It is not recommended that snow be cleared from sloped roof buildings, including houses. Attempting to clear snow from sloped roofs can be hazardous due to the danger of falling.

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 maintenance. For details on preventing frozen pipes: 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, then call a plumber. The 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.
See Extreme Weather Response pages at www.bellevuewa.gov/Extreme_weather_response.htm  for other detailed information and handy phone numbers.


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Contact Information

Service First (Public Service Desk)
450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Phone: 425-452-6800
Business Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Weekdays

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