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From towns to country, Clallam County slowing digging out of snow

SEQUIM, Wash. – People on the Olympic Peninsula have been digging out of the snow for a week and a half.

Conditions remain a sloppy mess in downtown Sequim. While plows have cleared most of the roadways, but the sidewalks remain mostly covered creating a hazard for pedestrians.

“It’s a matter of helping everybody we can and doing what we can as a community together to get it done,” said Paul Boucher who spend Wednesday clearing sidewalks.

And while city plows have been playing catch up after each new snowfall, their hard work has been piling up in parking spaces and sidewalks.

The snow has also been piling up in parking lots throughout Sequim. In some parking lots a bulldozer scooped snow into large piles. Some people were also seen shoveling snow off the roof tops.

“What happened to sunny Sequim?” asked Q13 News reporter Steve Kiggins.

“I don’t know,” replied Susan Baritelle, “You tell me what happened.”

Baritelle owns Dungeness Kids Company and she says this week has been a struggle, but she is thankful for Boucher’s efforts.

“He’s been faithful at blazing these trails through the snow,” she said. “Luckily he’s been taking care of the sidewalks.”

But not all of the sidewalks are walkable.

“There’s really deep snow, but these shoes are not snowbound,” said Delondo Cotton.

Cotton was forced to walk among automobile traffic in areas the sidewalks hadn’t been cleared, and he admits he doesn’t have the right equipment to stay dry.

“This is what you got to do,” he said. “Got to work, got to pay the bills.”

In other areas of the county first responders were battling dangerous conditions after a power line was downed by a fallen tree.

power lines that had fallen and began

The scene along SR 112 west of Port Angeles was also overwhelmed with snow where WSDOT plows did their best to clear a path.

“It’s cold, snowy, heavy and disgusting,” said Joe Springob.

On the way to the small community of Joyce, the roads are plowed but still treacherous.

“We don’t have the resources that the big cities have,” said Jessica Wright from Joyce.

“I’m helping my coworker,” Bryson Ramsey said at the near the Elwa Longhouse while trying to install chains on his coworker’s vehicle.

Ramsey says the roads to the west of Port Angeles are tough – and his friend’s car needs a little help to get where they need to go.

“Right now, it’s just a mix of slush rain and snow,” said Ramsey. “It’s pretty slippery out there.”

“We don’t see winters like this very often,” said Wright.

The Joyce General Store along SR 112 is a lifeline for the rural community offering gas, food and a post office. Most other services are at least 10 miles away in either direction.

The Joyce area of Clallam County is rural -- that means folks who can’t rely on state or county plows are using their own tractors to clear driveways up and down the area.

“We’re a community that’s resilient,” said Wright. “We all are a community and I think that’s the biggest thing.”

But some worry when the snow beings to melt and rain begins to fall, the winter wonderland could quickly turn into a nightmare.

“It’s going to be slicker than hell,” said Andy Westfall in Joyce.

Plus, the snow that doesn’t melt or wash away during daylight hours could possibly turn to ice at night – making driving a dangerous option for everybody.

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