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Goodbye, snow; hello, rain and wind
POULSBO – Rain turned three days of snowfall into melt and slush Friday and Saturday, making North Kitsap’s roads safer to drive on. But weather advisories warn of new hazards from continued rain and wind.
Rain is expected to continue through all next week, according to the National Weather Service. It will be breezy Saturday, with a south-southwest wind between 21 and 24 mph and gusts as high as 45 mph. Ditto for Sunday.
The National Weather Service issued warnings early Saturday as snowmelt rushes into storm drains that can clog and flood roads, and winds wreak havoc on storm-heavy tree branches and saturated root systems.
The National Weather Service’s flood warning was issued for Kitsap as well as Clallam, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Lewis, Mason, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties.
“Two to five inches of precipitation has fallen over the Olympic Peninsula since early Friday morning, with 1 to 3 inches over Southwest Washington and the Cascades and up to 2 inches over the Western Washington interior lowlands,” the National Weather Service reported.
“The rainfall runoff is combining with snow melt to produce minor urban and small stream flooding. Local ponding of storm water and melting snow on roadways, especially in intersections and underpasses, will be a minor hazard for motorists. In addition, blocked culverts and clogged drains will create areas of minor urban flooding. Some small streams could overflow their banks and there is also a possibility of landslides.”
The National Weather Service advises that clearing nearby storm drains could help lessen the ponding of water.
“Do not underestimate the power of flood waters. Only a few inches of water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and just a few inches of flowing water can carry away your vehicle.”
Windy conditions will ease later Saturday as a front pushes inland. A second frontal system could bring damaging winds to the coast and northwest interior Sunday.
Some areas – among them Everett, Olympia, Seattle and Tacoma – will see winds from the south of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph.
“Gusty winds may snap tree branches and cause local power outages,” the National Weather Service reported. “Areas with tree and limb damage caused by the ice storm may see numerous additional falling limbs. Beware snags which are likely to fall when the wind increases overnight.”
The National Weather Service issues a wind advisory when sustained winds of 30 to 39 mph or gusts of 45 to 57 mph are likely.
As the snow gave way to rain, life returned to some normalcy in North Kitsap. Library branches opened for regular hours Saturday after three days of closure. The North Kitsap Community Pool reopened Saturday. The North Kitsap High School Band Booster Rummage Sale opened Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the North Kitsap High School Commons. At Hare & Hounds Public House in downtown Poulsbo, the Robert Burns Night celebration was on for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (complete with haggis dinner and live music). An earlier celebration, Friday in Bremerton, was cancelled because of snow.
And on Bainbridge Island, the parks department took the opportunity of improved road conditions for what outdoor programs coordinator Jeff Ozimek called a “shameless plug” about its ski bus.
“Five feet of new powder is too good of news not to inform you of,” Ozimek said. “Stevens Pass has three new feet already with two additional feet supposed to accumulate by Saturday.”
The ski bus – opened to non-Bainbridge residents as well – leaves Strawberry Hill Park on Saturdays at 7 a.m. and returns at 8 p.m. The cost is $49. “Expect five hours of playtime in snowy paradise,” Ozimek said.
Although temperatures have warmed in North Kitsap, the snowy wet conditions compelled emergency management officials to keep the Severe Weather Shelter open Friday night from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. The shelter location is Bremerton Food Line, 1600 12th St., Bremerton. For information about shelter openings and availability of other shelters, call 211 or Kitsap Community Resources, (360) 473-2047.
Other sites we recommend:
North Kitsap School District website for school closures and delays.
The latest weather advisories, warnings and watches are available on the National Weather Service website.
Kitsap Transit bus schedule information is available at www.kitsaptransit.com/LimitedBusSnowRoutes.html
Kitsap County inclement weather information is available on the Emergency Management Department website.
State Transportation Department cameras show real-time conditions of roads leading to the Kingston ferry terminal.
See weather conditions for the Poulsbo Village area on the Central Market weather camera.