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Late start for North Kitsap public schools Thursday

After-school activities were canceled. The Healing of the Canoe Project community meeting was postponed. Even “The Bong Biz,” a presentation for adults concerned about drug use in our community, was rescheduled.

Life was slowed by snowfall in North Kitsap Wednesday, and the slowdown continued Thursday with the North Kitsap School District announcing late start Thursday – two hours – and cancellation of morning kindergarten, pre-school, breakfast program, out-of-district transportation, and secondary zero-hour classes.

With forecasts calling for more snow and even colder temperatures moving through Washington, drivers should prepare for snow and ice on the road Thursday, the state Transportation Department reported. Reports indicate the heaviest accumulations should be from the South Puget Sound area down to Vancouver.

“Drivers should expect driving conditions similar to a mountain pass across much of Washington overnight and Thursday morning,” the state Transportation Department reported in an e-mail late Wednesday. “WSDOT crews will work through the night and into the morning to keep roads open and traffic moving. Unprepared drivers who end up blocking traffic could make their goal much more difficult.”

The Transportation Department recommends drivers stay off the roads in severe weather if possible, and pay attention to media reports and advice from officials. When choosing to drive in these conditions, motorists should:

-- Drive for conditions – reduced speeds, slower acceleration, careful steering and slower braking

-- Slow down approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, or shady spots.

-- Allow extra time to get there.

-- Use headlights regardless of the time of day Additional winter driving tips include:

-- Avoid using cruise control.

-- Four- and all-wheel drive vehicles offer little advantage on icy roads.

-- Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Remember, large vehicles take longer to stop.

-- Brush the snow off your vehicle, especially your lights, before you drive. It makes you more visible, plus snow and ice flying off a vehicle can be dangerous to other drivers.

-- If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it until it is safe to pass. A snowplow driver has a limited field of vision. Stay back 15 car lengths until you’re sure it is safe to pass or until the plow pulls off the road.

Plug into state Transportation Department online and mobile tools and local media reports at www.wsdot.wa.gov.

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