OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Transportation today urged drivers to use extreme caution because of ice on roadways from freezing rain.
WSDOT closed State Route 18 between Interstate 90 and the Issaquah Hobart Road shortly after 6 o’clock this morning because ice had knocked about two dozen trees onto the roadway.
There were reports of downed trees this morning on additional Western Washington roadways, prompting some lane and road closures.
Elsewhere, the number of spinouts and cars in the ditch is increasing as the morning commute approaches.
The National Weather Service in Seattle issued an ice storm warning for King, Pierce, Snohomish, Lewis, Thurston and Grays Harbor counties, in effect until noon today. The weather service says rain is expected to ease late this morning and temperatures are expected to creep above freezing by about midday.
Drivers should expect added delays and check road status as WSDOT crews close highways until the threat of falling tree limbs passes.
These are things drivers can do:
· Expect backups and potential lengthy delays.
· Check travel and roadway conditions on the WSDOT website.
· Staying in? Have a full tank of gas, just in case.
· Going out? Pack tire chains and a winter car kit and drive for conditions.
Know before you go:
· Find out what’s happening in the Puget Sound region.
· Call 511. WSDOT’s driver information phone line provides real-time traffic, incident and closure information. Out-of-state callers can dial 1-800-695-ROAD (7623). TTY users can call 1-800-833-6388.
· Sign up for email updates and social media tools such as Facebook.
· Follow traveler information on Twitter @wsdot, @wsdot_traffic, @wsdot_passes, @wsdot_tacoma, @SnoqualmiePass.