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Whidbey Island faces snow days

With the majority of the northern U.S. currently buried  under snow, Whidbey Island residents are bracing for a couple of inches of the white stuff in the coming days.

The forecast Wednesday calls for a high near 38 and a low around 26. Between 1 and 3 inches of snow is expected to accumulate on the ground, according to the National Weather Service.

Thursday’s forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of snow showers locally with a possible accumulation of less than 1 inch.

Work crews were busy Tuesday morning working on the south end of the island which already received a dusting of snow, slush and hail.

County road crews were clearing and sanding roads on South Whidbey, Island County Public Works Director Bill Oakes said. He said there were very localized areas on the south end that needed to be cleared, and county staff is prepared to deal with more widespread snow starting Wednesday and going into Thursday night. 

He said the work crews always focus on arterials, school bus routes and Island Transit routes first. The county, which has been going through a budget crisis for several years, plans for three snow events a year, and the upcoming incident would be the first one. The last significant snowfall occurred just before Thanksgiving. 

State road crews are preparing for the mid-week storm.

“We’re always ready for it,” Washington State Department of Transportation spokesman Dave Chesson said Tuesday morning. He said staff had expected snow to be falling by then.

“They’re going to be out before the snow,” Chesson said.

Chesson encouraged motorists to take precautions to prepare for the snow. They should give themselves extra time when traveling, or, better yet, avoid driving during a snow storm.

If one must drive during the snow, slow down and leave extra space between cars, Chesson advised.

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