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Emergency declared in Whatcom County as snow, ice pummels area

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Viewer submitted photo of the jackknifed semi-truck.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Whatcom County officials signed a proclamation of emergency due to extreme winter weather that has plagued the area, and encouraged residents to stay inside and avoid traveling Wednesday.

Bellingham city facilities were closed for the day due to worsening weather conditions.

“The northern and eastern communities of Whatcom County have been the most significantly impacted with extended power outages, snow measured in feet, drifting snow and all schools in Whatcom County being closed,” the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office said.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning for the county, lasting until 4 a.m. Thursday. Cold northeast wind is expected to continue in the area through the night.

Up to 2 inches of snow is possible before turning to rain or freezing rain. Inland communities near the Canadian border such as Sumas and Lynden can see up to 1/2" of ice accumulation.

Multiple crashes were seen on area roadways Wednesday, including a jackknifed semi-truck.

Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks encouraged citizens to stay off the roads, and not drive unless absolutely necessary. The American Red Cross has opened a shelter in response to requests from the Whatcom County Fire District #14.

Whatcom County had dealt with heavy snow and cold temperatures for the past week. Bellingham Public Schools will remain closed Thursday.