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Posted on: February 20, 2019

Community Rallies to Support Neighbors During Recent Snowstorm

homeowners shoveling

In the aftermath of the recent record-setting snow event, many North Bend streets and side roads still have several feet of snow piled up along the sides, curbs and sidewalks. The City’s Public Works maintenance division is continuing to work on removing snow to recover the full widths of our roads, parking spaces and to improve sight distance at intersections.

The City plows streets but doesn't clear snow or ice from sidewalks or other public walkways. Maintaining sidewalks is the responsibility of the property owner or tenant.

City Councilmembers and staff understand the significant impact this snow event has had on our citizens and wish to extend our appreciation for your cooperation, understanding and patience throughout our snow removal process.

“We recognize the hardships our citizens have had to endure during these past weeks of unprecedented snowfall,” Mayor Ken Hearing said. “We have heard many examples of residents helping each other gain access from their homes and are grateful for those efforts and proud to live in a community where neighbors help neighbors.”

Examples of community support include neighbors shoveling sidewalks, digging out vehicles buried under the snow and driving 4WD vehicles to the store for medical provisions or food for those in need.

Since the first snowfall on February 3rd, there have been at least four snow events. The most recent snowstorm on February 11th through the 12th was the most significant, with over 30 inches of snow falling overnight in some areas. This was in addition to the 12 to 18 inches of snow that was already on the ground. The Public Works maintenance division staff worked round-the-clock on snow removal operations through February 16th.

The immense amount of snowfall and the requirement for crews to rest created the need for outside assistance, which prompted the City to issue a State of Emergency Proclamation on Tuesday, February 12th.

The emergency declaration allowed the City to call in additional help and resources. The declaration also allowed the City to potentially be eligible for state and federal funding to help cover costs associated with the City’s response to the severe winter weather.

The main priority was to clear streets as quickly as possible to gain access to homes that were snowed in. Emergency routes and priority-one routes were highest on the list. Council and staff took several courses of action, including setting up an Emergency Operations Center for incident planning at Public Works, providing round-the-clock snow plowing with City crews and reaching out to private companies and other agencies for extra snow plows.

North Bend received assistance from the City of Issaquah, Eastside Fire & Rescue, King County, WSDOT, the National Guard, Fury Site Works, Superior Asphalt and other local and state organizations that brought in extra and larger snow plows and a Snowcat for rescue missions and emergency situations.

February 2019 will be long remembered as Snowmageddon 2019 or the Snowpocalypse. The City of North Bend Council and staff are grateful for the assistance of everyone who provided support in a community we are all proud to call home.

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