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The Durkan Digest: Get Ready – We Could Have Snow in Seattle

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Earlier this week, I held a press conference with City officials and our partner agencies to help ensure Seattle residents are prepared for a potential storm. The National Weather Service is reporting that Seattle and King County could experience snow beginning this weekend and continuing well into next week. In addition to snow, we could experience heavy rain, freezing temperatures and high winds. I encourage all of you to be patient – the bottom line is we don’t know exactly what’s going to hit us.

Senior Deputy Mayor Fong and members of Mayor Durkan's cabinet shovel snow as part of 2019's Shared Shovel campaign.

In the event of extreme winter weather and snow, there are five key things we need you to do:

  • Stay informed: Be sure to check the National Weather Service for updates, and sign up for AlertSeattle for emergency notifications.
  • Shovel your sidewalks: It’s your responsibility to make sure the sidewalk in front of your home or business is safe and accessible. It’s not only the law – it’s just the right thing to do to make sure people can move through Seattle safely.
  • Don’t drive unless you absolutely have to: Driving during a storm is dangerous – please avoid driving, and choose to take public transit whenever possible. If you have to drive, check out these tips on how to stay safe.
  • Check on your neighbors: Make sure your neighbors have everything they need to be prepared for a storm, and if they’re older or disabled, be a good neighbor and offer to help get supplies, and shovel their sidewalk.
  • Get prepared: Make sure your emergency kit is up-to-date, and make sure you have a plan in the event of a power outage.

After last year’s snowstorm, we heard stories from seniors and our disabled neighbors – some of whom were trapped in their homes for days on end, simply because the sidewalks in their neighborhood were covered in snow, making them dangerous and inaccessible. We cannot let this happen again – it’s all of our responsibility to make sure Seattle stays safe and accessible for all. Do your part and shovel your sidewalk.

Screenshot of Rooted in Rights video with a smiling, red-haired woman seated in a powered wheelchair.

The City is prepared to do our part to make sure we weather this storm. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is monitoring weather, traffic, and road temperatures 24/7, and our entire fleet of snowplows is ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice. If it does snow, have patience, and don’t expect your neighborhood street to be plowed immediately. SDOT prioritizes clearing the most critical routes for transit and emergency response vehicles. Click here for more information on how SDOT is preparing for the winter weather

And our Human Services Department has opened its Severe Weather Shelter starting Sunday, January 12 through Sunday, January 19. We know that extreme winter weather can be perilous for our neighbors living unsheltered. Please be compassionate, help those in need, and call 2-1-1 for help finding shelter options.

I encourage you visit for more information, and follow @CityofSeattle on Twitter for regular updates. And remember: Have patience and be a good neighbor. It’s up to all of us to keep Seattle, safe, warm, and accessible this winter.

As always, please continue to write me at, reach out via Twitter and Facebook, and stay up-to-date on the work we’re doing for the people of Seattle on my blog.


Mayor Jenny A. Durkan's Signature