Icy nightmare descends on Monday night's commute

Nov 22, 2010

Temperatures plummeted quickly Monday evening, freezing wet roads already dusted with snow. It's added up to a nightmare commute for many trying to get home.

Several main transportation arteries were closed, from the north Olympic Peninsula which received six to 12 inches of snow, south through Seattle, Pierce County and into southwest Washington.

During the normally busy afternoon drive,  both directions of Seattle's busy Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct were closed.

There were other closures of Seattle roads, as reported by The Seattle Times:

  • West Dravus Street between 20th and 27th Avenues
  • Battery St. Tunnel
  • NE 5100 block of Latona Ave. N
  • Denny Way between Melrose and Stewart Streets

Travelers going eastbound over Interstate 90 found the road closed at Denny Creek after compound snow and ice made the road essentially impassable.  In Pierce County, one person was killed on I-5  in the early evening hours near "L" street.   The News Tribune reports I-5 had severe backups through the downtown area and the Joint Base Lewis McChord stretch, down to the Nisqually Valley.  

KING 5 TV reports Pierce County road crews are having troubles keeping up treating iced-over roadways. All 28 crews are out and working, and the county is calling for any back-up assistance.

Overnight lows are dropping into the teens and low 20's. Seattle is expecting a low of 20 degrees tonight, while Bellingham may get as low at 16 degrees. Tomorrow, the National Weather Service in Seattle predicts highs in the upper 20's, not exceeding the freezing mark, with sun expected.