Snow and Ice Response
Public Works is responsible for approximately 1,650 total miles of county-maintained roads. In order to provide an optimum level of service over such a large area during snow and ice events, routes have been designated by priority. The prioritization is based on traffic volume, transit and school bus routes, terrain, and institutional knowledge of historical problem areas
- In addition to the legend on the map:
- Red lines are priority routes
- Red dashed lines are secondary routes
- Yellow lines are anti-icing routes (when conditions allow)
Check Commute Routes Before Traveling on Roadways
During weather events please check your commute options before venturing out.
- Snohomish County Road Closures (list and map).
- State routes and highways are maintained by WSDOT and are NOT reflected on the Snohomish County Road Closure webpage. Call 511 or visit WSDOT’s website for more information.
- Transit (Community Transit, Sound Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit, Skagit Transit, Island Transit) – Transit services may be rerouted for safety in some areas with no advance notice.
Public calls requesting service will be addressed where possible as plows have to clear priority routes first.
Snowplowing and Sanding
Public Works’ Road Maintenance crews will make every effort to clear steep access roads and lower priority residential roadways in heavily populated areas, but only as resources allow. Higher priority routes may require plowing several times a day depending on the conditions and severity of the event.
- Give snowplows and deicers plenty of room to work. Allow a minimum following distance of 200 feet from the plows and deicers while they are working.
- If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the displaced snow and ice, or sand spray.
- Vehicles parked along all major arterials and emergency routes must be moved off the street. It is recommended for them to be moved when snow is in the forecast.
- Multiple snowplow passes and treatments may be required to keep primary routes passable.
- Residents clearing driveways and snow berms are advised to pile snow to the left side as you face the house, especially closer to the road. This prevents the snowplow blade from pushing the material back into the driveway.
- Please do not shovel snow into the roadway as it creates obstructions and can be hazardous.
- Keep drainage inlets near your home clear of leaves and debris during the winter months to help reduce the chance of flooding.
- Try to keep garbage bins and other obstacles out of the street when the roads are icy or covered with snow.
Road Maintenance traditionally uses sand and salt to treat black ice or frost that has accumulated on roadways.
For our more challenging areas, however, Road Maintenance takes a preventative approach by using anti-icing spray over the road to prevent ice from forming or sticking. The spray solution used is more effective at maintaining a bare and wet road surface. Anti-icing is more costly than sand and salt, so it is used sparingly and only on pre-designated primary or historically troublesome routes.
- Snohomish County Road Closure Inquiries/Updates:425-388-7500
- WSDOT webcams: Real-time conditions from various points along area highways.
- Life-threatening emergencies: 911.
- Non-life threatening emergencies: 425-407-3999.
- Human Services related needs including shelters and some food needs: 211.