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More snow trouble with winter storm?

Mukilteo Beacon of Mukilteo, Washington

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A major winter storm moved into Puget Sound yesterday, and heavy accumulations of snow are expected to fall in Mukilteo this week.

Starting with a light snow over the weekend, snow is expected to continue to fall into Thursday. The city saw 1-2 inches fall Tuesday and another 5-10 inches of new snow is expected by tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

The worst conditions were expected to arrive Tuesday night and today.

The NWS put Mukilteo in a winter storm warning Tuesday. The warning is in effect until midnight.

Since the first snowfall, Mukilteo police have been kept busy responding to traffic accidents due to snowy and icy driving conditions.

The Mukilteo Police Department had reported a total of 19 collisions from Jan. 13-17 as of press time. One minor injury was reported.

"I can't even keep track. There were a lot," said Cheol Kang, spokesperson for the Mukilteo Police Department.

"There were a few that they weren't able to respond to immedi-ately because they were handling other collisions."

Several vehicles reportedly slid into a ditch, while others slid into yards, fences and even a garage. The same stop sign was knocked down twice. Many more disabled vehicles were also reported.

A 10-year-old boy struck his head after his sled slid into a moving vehicle on Monday. The child suffered a bruise to the head and received a medical evaluation on scene. The boy later lost consciousness and was transported to the local hospital.

"He had bruising on his head because his head hit the bumper on the vehicle, but there was no need for a transport to the hospital at the time," Kang said.

The day before, a vehicle reportedly slid off the roadway and into a house, causing extensive damage to the garage. The vehicle left the scene.

There were also couple of close calls for officers Saturday.

While responding to a two-vehicle collision, police said an officer was-narrowly missed by a third car that slid into the first two cars.

At another two-vehicle plus a tree collision, two more vehicles slid into the scene, just narrowly missing the responding officer. The sliding cars didn't strike the other vehicles, police said.

"That just shows how dangerous the roads were," Kang said.

The police station was running on snow operations over the weekend, meaning officers were limited to responding to calls in one of six all-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles. Normal operations resumed around 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The city's road crews have also been busy, plowing and sanding the arterial streets since Saturday.

Harbour Heights Drive was closed over the weekend and has since reopened. There were no other street closures as of Tuesday.

"We've been plowing around the clock since Saturday evening," said Public Works Director Larry Waters on Tuesday. "If it keeps going like it is, we're going to just keep running people on overtime."

Three of the city's five trucks have been on the roads almost constantly, with only a few breaks when snowfall let up, Waters said.

Crews continued to plow and sand on Tuesday. Their focus is on the main arterials and the steepest hills in the city.

"We've had a few problems with steep roads and intersections," Waters said. "When it gets packed and icy it always gets challenging."

Kang said the intersection of 84th Street and Mukilteo Speedway had the most accidents, but that there were also several reports of sliding cars on 92nd Street and St. Andrews Drive.

"Anywhere there's a steep hill, it definitely has a high incident rate," he said.

Schools also were closed Tuesday in the Mukilteo School District, giving students a four-day weekend for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

As of press time, district spokesperson Andy Muntz said that there was a good chance schools would be closed today as well.

Original Publication Date: January 18, 2012



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