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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Warming shelters open, buses on snow routes, some county government services disrupted

Summary

Some county offices are closing up for the day as difficult travel conditions, continued snowfall, and predicted worse weather are making it increasingly difficult for employees to get to their posts, and difficult for the public to access services in person.

Story

Some county offices are closing up for the day as difficult travel conditions, continued snowfall, and predicted worse weather are making it increasingly difficult for employees to get to their posts, and difficult for the public to access services in person.

King County government is officially open. However, several departments that are affected adversely by the weather have announced closures and sent staff home. Updated closures are posted on the King County home page at www.kingcounty.gov.

Some King County office closures announced for the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 22:

  • Superior Court closed at 1 p.m. today and plans to reopen, weather permitting, tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.
  • District Court closed at 2 p.m. today and plans to reopen, weather permitting, tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.
  • King County Assessor's Office closed at 2 p.m. on Monday, and plans to reopen tomorrow, Tuesday, at 8:30 a.m.
  • Department of Judicial Administration closed at 1 p.m. today and plans to reopen, weather permitting, tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.
  • Several King County licensing sub agencies closed early this afternoon. A complete list can be found online.
  • The Northshore Community Service Center in Bothell may close before 5:00 p.m. due to weather. If you plan to visit the location, please call to see if they remain open: 206-296-9840.
  • King County Solid Waste transfer facilities will close at 4 p.m. with the exception of Shoreline and Bow Lake. Allied Waste and Waste Management are no longer collecting garbage or recycling due to snow and ice on side streets. Garbage may not be picked up on the regular schedule Monday and possibly into Tuesday depending on weather and road conditions in the morning. Affected residents should contact their garbage hauler for updated information about pick-up schedules.
  • The Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way is closed.

In addition to agency closures, Public Health Seattle & King County, the Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Transportation and Regional Animal Services would like residents to be prepared and stay safe during the predicted cold snap.

King County Department of Transportation: Metro Transit continues to operate bus service on designated snow routes during the afternoon and evening commutes and through the end of service Monday. Residents are urged to sign up for road alerts, transit alerts.

Warming shelters: King County and the cities of Kent, Seattle and Bellevue have opened severe weather shelters for homeless or vulnerable populations to take refuge. An updated list of indoor overnight shelters is available at www.kingcounty.gov/prepare.

Pets: Regional Animal Services of King County would like to remind pet owners to check outdoor water bowls, because they may freeze and prevent pets from having drinkable water. Sheltering pets from wind and moisture is very important. Wind chill affects pets just like people. Very young and older pets are most susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. When the temperature drops, make sure pets can go to a warm space, out of the elements, with access to liquid food.

Appropriate use of 9-1-1: Power outages may occur tonight due to wind and snow weighing down tree limbs. Residents are urged to use your 9-1-1 responsibly and only call 9-1-1 if immediate emergency assistance is needed from police, fire or emergency medical personnel. For all other non-urgent situations that require assistance call your local police or fire department. A list of non-emergency numbers can be found at www.kingcounty.gov/linksbyzip.

Prevent CO poisoning: Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by never using a gas or charcoal grill, hibachi, or portable propane heater to cook indoors or heat your home. Carbon monoxide gas comes from burning fuels such as gasoline, propane, oil, kerosene, natural gas, coal or wood and can cause injury or death.

  • During a power outage or at any other time, do not operate fuel-powered machinery such as a generator indoors, including the garage
  • Do not cook or heat with charcoal barbeques inside your home
  • Avoid combustion "space heaters" unless there is an exhaust vent

Carbon monoxide poisoning can strike suddenly and without warning. In some cases, physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include splitting headache, nausea and vomiting, and lethargy and fatigue. If you believe you could be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Call for medical help from a neighbor's home. The Fire Department will tell you when it is safe to reenter the home.

For a full list of carbon monoxide prevention tips and other safety and disaster information in English and other languages, visit www.kingcounty.gov/health/disaster.

Stay warm and safe

  • Make sure you are wearing enough warm clothing before going outdoors. Wind speed can create dangerously cold conditions even when the temperature is not that low.
  • Wear several layers of light weight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia: slurred speech, confusion, uncontrollable shivering, stumbling, drowsiness, and body temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Get medical help immediately if you think someone has frostbite or hypothermia.
  • Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm up with a blanket or warm fluids like hot herbal tea or soup. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages if you think you or someone you are trying to help has hypothermia or frostbite.
  • Check on elderly friends, family, and neighbors to make sure they are safe.
  • Watch your footing on surfaces that may be icy and slick, and wear shoes that provide traction.

Up-to-date information about King County government closures, metro bus information, and safety tips can be found at www.kingcounty.gov.

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King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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