Renton, Kent schools closed; state, county emergency centers open

The Renton and Kent school districts are closed Wednesday because of a huge storm that is moving across Western Washington.

Check Metro Transit’s website  for the latest information about bus routes.

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at a  Phase III level at midnight today in response to winter storm conditions throughout the state.  Heavy snowfall throughout the state has snarled transportation, and created health and safety  issues, according to a press release.

County emergency operations centers have been activated in King, Pierce, Jefferson, and Grays Harbor counties as well as in several cities including Seattle and Kent.   Gov. Chris. Gregoire’s office has been notified of the activation and will receive periodic  updates on the storm situation.

Here is Renton’s forecast from the National  Weather Service:

Today: Snow. High near 31. East wind 10 to 13 mph becoming northeast between 18 and 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Tonight: Snow, possibly mixed with rain, mainly after 4am. Snow level  200 feet. Low around 28. North northeast wind between 10 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Thursday: Rain and snow, becoming all rain after 10am. Snow level rising to 900 feet. High near 36. North wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Thursday Night: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a low around 35. Southeast wind between 5 and 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Friday: Rain. High near 47. South wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Friday Night: Rain. Low around 40. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Saturday: Rain. High near 45. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Saturday Night: Rain. Cloudy, with a low around 38.

Sunday: Rain. Cloudy, with a high near 43.

Sunday Night: Rain. Cloudy, with a low around 36.

Monday: Rain. Cloudy, with a high near 44.

Monday Night: Rain. Cloudy, with a low around 37.

Tuesday: Rain. Cloudy, with a high near 47.

The State Enhanced 911 Office and local telephone carriers remind citizens in the affected area:

  • To stay off the telephone unless you have a critical need to make a telephone call. Remember a FAX or a computer also uses a telephone line and its use may affect yourability to get immediate help in a life-threatening emergency. 
  • DO NOT call 9-1-1 unless you need an emergency response from police, fire or emergency medical personnel.  DO NOT call 9-1-1 unnecessarily. 9-1-1 lines must be kept open forpeople who have a true emergency.
  • If you experience other types of problems not related to these emergency services, call the appropriate telephone number for those services.
  • If you pick up your telephone to make a call and do not hear dial tone, DO NOT HANG UP. Simply wait a few seconds, and you will get dial tone and be able to make your call.
  • Residents in the state should consider the following preparedness actions:

*  Listen to radio or television stations for local information and weather reports.

*  Do not use charcoal or gas grills to cook or heat indoors.

* If you must travel, assemble an emergency auto kit, stay on main roads, follow traffic instructions.

*  If the power goes out, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep food frozen up to  two days.

* Provide assistance to your neighbors, especially the elderly or disabled. 

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