Late February snowstorm blankets South Sound

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GRAND MOUND, Wash. – The snow first started falling in the South Sound early Tuesday morning, causing wrecks and backups on Interstate 5.

The storm also forced several school districts in Lewis County to send kids home early.

By the afternoon, the road conditions weren’t too bad, mostly bare and wet in places. But it’s when drivers venture out into the county where it can get dicey.

The Washington State Department of Transportation's plows and salt spreaders got to work early on the interstate.  The snow fell hard and fast, making visibility an issue for some.

“I think I might take the back roads,” said driver Leisa Fliqunti.

But, she says she knows no matter how careful she is behind the wheel, it’s the other drivers where her attention is focused.

“Drive the way you’re supposed to in this kind of weather,” she said. “Take it easy, take it slow. Watch for other people, don’t be in a rush.”

One driver got lucky -- she didn’t get into a wreck but her car didn’t like all the snow that bunched up on her Subaru’s custom grill. It ended up knocking her ride out of commission.

While I-5 stayed mostly clear, the Thurston County backroads saw at least a couple of inches by noon.

And there was enough snow in Grand Mound for kids to build a snowman.

“Last time it snowed was Christmas,” said Heidi Newey.

Some families say they planned to stay off the roads and play in the snow for the rest of Tuesday, but they do have advice for anyone else who has to brave the snowy conditions.

“As long as you’re careful, respect Mother Nature,” said Tandi Richmond.

Good video of snow in Mossyrock (Lewis County), taken at 3:30 pm by viewer Jodi Dawson:

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Temperatures are expected to get colder Tuesday night and overnight -- that means slippery and icy conditions could last into Wednesday morning’s commute.

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