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Road crews in Seattle, Tacoma stay ahead of potential snow, icy weather

SEATTLE — The first snowflakes of the season were spotted throughout the Seattle metro area this weekend. The temperatures were cold enough to produce the flakes but not cold enough for the snow to stick in most areas of the city.

The Seattle Department of Transportation, or SDOT, had its crews ready to go when the first flakes started to fall.

“Our crews watch weather reports 24 hours a day all year along so we hopefully kind of know when freezing temps are coming,” said Sue Romero, public relations specialist for SDOT.

On Sunday night, SDOT crews had de-icing trucks treating 24 of the city’s most traveled routes as temperatures had been forecast to drop below freezing by Monday morning. However, by the time the morning commute rolled around, roadways in the metro area were not impacted by icy conditions.

SDOT says it watches the temperature and if it reaches 37 degrees and shows signs of falling, crews are deployed to pre-treat areas that can be affected by snow or ice.

“I would consider this weekend was sort of a dry run, even though we did see some flakes. The snow stuck in areas farther east and south of us, but it went smoothly for us because we prepare all year round,” added Romero.

SDOT does have tips and information on the city's winter weather response page so drivers can  be prepared when the next storm moves in.

In Tacoma, the Public Works Department was prepared for whatever type of weather came their way.

“It definitely wasn’t too early for the frost. The little bit of snow we had, it was a little early for that forecast but again that didn’t come to fruition. I mean there was no accumulation and I think we’re now on track,” Matt Fengler, assistant division manager for the department.

Fengler said it launched several snowplows and brine trucks to help treat areas that could become problem spots when the snow fell.

The brine trucks spread a mixture of a high concentration solution of salt in water and is used to help keep roads from freezing over.

Tacoma Public Works said it planned according to the forecast and adjusted as needed.