City defends Tuesday decision to declare stage one snow event



Posted on February 25, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 25 at 8:20 PM

When should Spokane leaders have declared a stage one snow event?

SPOKANE, Wash.--The decision to declare a state one snow event came early Tuesday morning in Spokane even though the snow kept falling for hours Monday.    

City staff said when they declared a stage one snow event did not matter. They said they were already responding to more snow than expected.

The amount of snow Monday was more than people were ready for.

“The roads were generally pretty good through the middle of the day and early afternoon,” said Brian Coddington with the City of Spokane.

Stage one is declared when there is two inches on the ground and four more inches expected in the forecast. Coddington said once the snow picked up late Monday, they started working on clearing streets.

"We had our resources out and we were dropping de-icer when the accumulation started to occur. The plows dropped as well,” said Coddington.

The decision was made at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. It was posted online and on social media.

Text alerts were sent out to more than 1,300 phones. Some of those texts were not received until more than two hours after the decision was made.    

Media did not get an official announcement through email until 11:30 a.m.

The City said it went to work as soon as the weather called for it.

"It really wouldn't have changed anything last night if we would have declared a stage one snow event,” said Coddington.

Notifying the public involves getting cars moved off the streets for plows. The City gives people six hours to move their car after a snow event is declared.

The City had more than 40 vehicles on the road on Tuesday, including plows, de-icers and sanders.

The City has access to up to 75 vehicles it can use for larger snow events.