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Sea-Tac, airlines, area hotels prepare for winter storm

Hotels, airlines, Sea-Tac Airport are preparing for winter storm around the Puget Sound area.

By Carol Pucci

Seattle Times travel writer

Sea-Tac Airport crews are working 12-hour shifts.

Alaska Airlines has reserved rooms near the airport for employees.

Some downtown hotels are offering special rates — all in anticipation of snow that could snarl travel around the Puget Sound area.

“We’re getting quite a few people calling and booking rooms in anticipation of snow,” said a desk clerk at the DoubleTree Hotel at Sea-Tac, where all 850 rooms were booked by early Tuesday with travelers and airline personnel.

Taking advantage of what’s normally a slow period, many downtown Seattle hotels are offering snow specials.

Kimpton Hotels, which owns the Hotel Vintage Park, Hotel Monaco and Alexis Hotel, is offering rooms at 32 percent (as in 32 degrees) off its best available rates, plus free parking and restaurant discounts Tuesday through the weekend.

The Mayflower Park Hotel is offering rooms starting at $99 Tuesday and Wednesday and perhaps longer, depending on the weather, said reservations manager Craig Packer. Also offering $99 specials Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the Maxwell Hotel, Hotel Five, University Inn and Watertown Hotel.

The Paramount Seattle hotel is running a $109 special Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Manager Matt Murphy said the 146-room hotel was 70 percent booked by Tuesday afternoon, and it planned to put up staff in some of the rooms.


Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, which handle about 50 percent of the passenger traffic in and out of Sea-Tac, have reserved hotel rooms near the airport for employees, and has plenty of de-icing fluid on hand to weather a storm, said spokeswoman Bobbie Egan.

The airlines had to cancel or delay flights during a storm in 2010, citing treacherous road conditions that prevented some employees from getting to work. In 2008, they shut down completely, the result of weather-related problems, including a shortage of de-icing fluid.

Alaska said it would waive change fees for passengers with tickets for flights departing Seattle or Portland Tuesday through Thursday, providing travel is rescheduled by Sunday. Passengers can also request a refund. The airline said it would accept no unaccompanied minors through Thursday. Virgin America is offering to rebook passengers on flights scheduled to depart Tuesday and Wednesday, with no change fees or difference in fares, provided they travel no later than Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Sea-Tac Airport

Sea-Tac Airport crews have been on snow alert for several days, preparing to keep two of the airport’s three runways open at all times, said spokesman Perry Cooper.

Temperature gauges in the runways tell crews when to begin de-icing, and crews perform skid-testing at three different points on each runway.

The airport has emergency supplies, blankets and food available in case passengers get stranded and have to spend the night, Cooper said. Restaurants and shops have been ordering extra food and drinks in anticipation of the weather disrupting deliveries.

If you’re flying

Some things to know if you are planning to fly this week:

• Check your airline’s website or call to check the status of your flight before going to the airport. Flight cancellation and delay info is also available at

• If your flight is canceled, you’ll be offered a refund or a chance to reschedule, but don’t expect the airline to pay for a hotel room or meals. When it comes to delays or cancellations caused by mechanical problems, crew shortages, etc., airlines will often provide compensation, but not for weather-related problems.

• Plan to leave for the airport in plenty of time to arrive two hours before your flight. The busiest time for departures out of Sea-Tac is between 6 and 8:30 a.m.

Carol Pucci: On Twitter @carolpucci.

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Tacoma teachers union, district resume contract talks after break

Negotiations between members of the Tacoma Education Association (TEA) and the Tacoma School District resumed Tuesday afternoon, following a break over the long Labor Day weekend.

Two Public Hearings on Billboards (7/12/11 & 7/19/11)

Please be advised of the following two City Council public hearings regarding Billboards:

1. Public Hearing on Billboard Moratorium:

· Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 5:30 p.m., Council Chambers, Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street

· The City Council is seeking public input on whether the 180-day moratorium, enacted on May 17, 2011, per Ordinance No. 27982, should be preserved or withdrawn and, if preserved, whether it should be modified. Potential modifications could include things such as the appropriate duration of the moratorium or the extent of its control.

2. Public Hearing on Billboard Regulations:

· Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 5:30 p.m., Council Chambers, Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street

· The City Council is seeking public comment on potential revisions to the sign code that would prohibit digital billboards, modify certain definitions, change uses and zones buffered from billboards, and change the way nonconforming billboards are addressed.

For more information on either subject, please visit and click on, respectively, “Billboard Moratorium” or “Billboard Regulations.”


Lihuang Wung

Community and Economic Development Department

747 Market Street, Room 1036

Tacoma, WA 98402

(253) 591-5682

RPIN – View News Release

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RPIN – View News Release

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Kent Severe Weather Shelter
Kent, City of
Release Date and Time: 02-23-2011 11:10:00 AM

The City of Kent is opening the Severe Weather Shelter (SWS) tonight at Kent Lutheran Church for the evenings of Wednesday February 23rd, Thursday February 24th, and Friday February 25th due to predicted dangerously low temperatures and snow.


Kent Lutheran Church


336 2nd Avenue South
Kent, WA 98032-5849


9 P.M. – Check-in and registration
7 A.M. – shelter closes, clients must vacate




Priority is given to homeless families with children who are living on the streets or in vehicles, but the SWS is also available for single women and men (separate sleeping space has been prepared for single men, women, and for families with children). The SWS will be operated by Catholic Community Services staff, and volunteers from Kent Lutheran Church and the Kent community.


The SWS will open at 9 P.M. Clients must register at the door. As with all shelters, rules for the health and safety of all clients and staff and the broader community will apply.




City of Kent: Housing and Human Services 253-856-5070

Kent Emergency Management: 253-856-4440

Forward this alert to a friend

The Regional Public Information Network (RPIN) is a regional partnership hosted by King County. Content is solely the responsibility of contributing agencies. For questions about news releases, contact the issuing agency. Links to external sites do not constitute endorsements by RPIN agencies. By visiting this Web page, you expressly agree to be bound by terms and conditions of the site.



Some rivers crest; others continue to rise

Quoted from


Some rivers crest; others continue to rise

Some rivers crest; others continue to rise



Some rivers continue to rise in Western Washington and will likely crest later Monday.

The worst flooding, the National Weather Service said, is on the Snoqualmie River in King County and Cowlitz River in Lewis County. There also may be moderate to major flooding along the Snohomish River.

The Weather Service has an interactive map with which you can check on flooding at various locations. It also has a map that shows the flooding forecast for Western Washington rivers.

Some rivers, fed by the weekend’s heavy rains in the mountains, are beginning to recede or are about to.

The rain of the last several days has saturated soils and increased the dangers of landslides.

More rain ought to fall Monday. In Seattle, showers are most likely before 10 a.m.

But rain will be light and scattered over the Western Washington lowlands on Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service says. About 0.6 to 1.2 inches of rain could fall in the Cascades, but the Weather Service says that should not add to flooding problems.

Temperatures also will be lower than in the past several days, with nighttime lows in Seattle in the 40s on Monday and 30s on Tuesday. In the mountains, the snow level will fall Monday from 4,500 to 3,000 feet.

The National Weather Service has issued a series of flood warnings and watches.

Early Monday, the flood warning was extended to smaller streams in north central King County. Runoff has filled small streams, and they are flooding some areas.

The Snoqualmie River is experiencing major flooding between Fall City to Carnation. The river is expected to crest at 11 a.m. at 59 feet near Carnation.

For information on road closures in King County, go here.

Flood warnings also are in effect for Nooksack River at North Cedarville in Whatcom County, the Skagit River near Concrete and Mount Vernon in Skagit County and the Stillaguamish River near Arlington in Snohomish County.

Those rivers are expected to crest Monday morning.

Flood warnings also continue for the Skykomish River near Gold Bar in Snohomish County, the Snohomish River at Snohomish and Monroe in Snohomish County, the Cedar River near Landsburg and Renton in King County and the Green River near Auburn in King County.

The Cedar River is expected to crest Monday afternoon in Renton, causing minor flooding. It is likely to crest Monday morning at Landsburg.

The Green River was above flood stage at Auburn early Monday and is expected to cause minor flooding.

The Skykomish River should crest around 10 a.m. Monday. The Snohomish should crest about 10 a.m. at Monroe and 2 p.m. at Snohomish.

There are also flood warnings for the Puyallup River near Orting in Pierce County, the Cowlitz River at Randle in Lewis County, the Skookumchuk River near Bucoda in Lewis and Thurston counties and the Chehalis River near Grand Mound in Thurston County.

The Puyallup ought to crest about 10 a.m. Monday and begin falling below flood stage Monday afternoon.

The Cowlitz River is causing major flooding, but has crested.

The Skookumchuck crested Sunday night and caused minor flooding.

The Chehalis River is causing minor flooding and is expected to crest at 4 p.m. Monday.

Scott Sunde can be reached at 206-448-8331


Follow Scott on Twitter at

Severe Weather and Possible Snow?

Weather Alerts for Tacoma and Greater Puget Sound Region

There is snow in the forecast for later in the day on Tuesday, and it could begin falling
during the afternoon commute.

That situation could create very different morning and afternoon travel conditions for bus riders. 

Transit users are advised to plan ahead for afternoon and evening trips that could be disrupted,
delayed, reduced, or on snow routing.

Even though weather in the morning may be clear, leave from a bus stop or park-and-ride that also
has service when buses are on snow routes in case travel conditions deteriorate by the afternoon commute. 

Give yourself extra time to reach your evening destination. Busescould be crowded in the early part 
of the afternoon commute if everyone tries to get home before snowfall is the heaviest.

Metro is urging bus riders to prepare by visiting Metro Online and knowing the snow routing for the
buses they will ride tomorrow.

Then, before traveling, riders should check for the most current status of Metro service. Updates to
online information begin as early as 4 a.m. and continue as needed until the storm is over.

A Tuesday snowfall could create challenges for all vehicles, especially if the snow begins to fall during
the afternoon commute. Bus operations could change rapidly. 

Here are some tips for bus travel if it does snow: 

• Know the snow routing for your bus route. Check
timetables for snow route maps for each route. Not
  every bus route has snow routing, but most do;

• When buses are on snow routing, some streets and bus stops may be missed and there are often
  delays due to travel conditions. There is new snow routing in many areas that is different from past
  years, so be sure to check the snow routes for the routes you use most often or are likely to use
  during snow;

• Metro uses an online color-coded map to keep riders advised of the status of its bus service.  All bus 
  routes are assigned into one or more of seven King County geographic areas. When there is snow or
  ice on the roads, the color-coded service status of each area is displayed map. Green indicates buses
  are operating on normal routes; yellow that some – but not all – routes in the area are on snow routes, and
  red tells you that all bus routes in the entire geographic area are on snow routing;

• People without online access can call the Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000. General
  information about service is also sent via the kcmetrobus Twitter account;

• Be patient. Buses are not always on schedule in snowy or icy conditions. And, increased ridership
  during bad weather can result in crowded buses and a longer-than-usual wait on the phone for the
  Customer Information Office; 

• Dress warmly, wear appropriate footwear for the weather…and expect delays; 

• Use bus stops on flat portions of main arterials or at major transfer points such as park-and-ride lots,
  transit centers, or shopping centers.

Thanks for riding and for using Metro’s services.

Travel safely.


Weather Alerts Greater Puget Sound!

Weather Alerts Greater Puget Sound Region!

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