Clearing roads, restoring powerDecember 22nd, 2008 by tristan baurick
Crews were working overtime during the weekend and on Monday morning to clear snow-laden roads and restore power to over 3,000 darkened homes.
Puget Sound Energy notified Bainbridge Island Police on Monday that four repair crews would soon be joined by teams searching for downed power lines, fallen branches and other problems causing blackouts around the island.
Parts of Winslow lost power at around 5 p.m. on Sunday while surrounding areas flickered out on Monday morning. By the afternoon, a handful of downtown businesses found power restored, only to lose it hours later.
Bainbridge City Hall, which opened two-hours late on Monday, was without power all day. Many staff relied on the light coming in through windows to do their work.
Bainbridge police were inundated with calls over the weekend and on Monday to assist motorists struggling with snowy conditions.
“A lot of people are getting themselves stuck or are sliding off the roads,” Police Chief Matt Haney said.
Haney predicted driving conditions would worsen on Monday night.
“When it gets below freezing, all that water you see melting is going to be very treacherous,” he said.
City road crews were plowing snow nonstop from Saturday afternoon until noon on Monday.
The city has four large plows and three lightweight plows. One of the smaller plows suffered transmission problems and has been taken out of rotation.
“We’ve been working around the clock for most of the weekend and today,” Assistant Public Works Director Lance Newkirk said on Monday evening. “Now we’re sanding the roads and giving some of our guys and the equipment a break.”
Newkirk said the city would keep an on-call crew through the night and resume plowing early Tuesday morning.
“We’ll start up again at 3 a.m. to get ahead of the commuter traffic,” he said.
Haney urged motorists to refrain from driving until conditions improve.
“Stay home unless you absolutely have to drive, especially tonight,” he said.