SPOKANE, Wash. — While the highways in the Spokane area looked clear on Sunday, the forecast called for another round of snow to start Sunday night and into Monday morning.
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, increasing temperatures may actually help to keep the morning commute safe for local highways.
"As we head into the night tonight and things start to warm up, snow starts to move in, we'll be able to pretreat and be out there with the salt rather than just sand to start to clear this a little bit quicker," said WSDOT spokesperson Ryan Overton.
Even if this round of snow is easier on crews clearing the road, Overton said drivers should still take precautions.
"I know it's been a long holiday week or so for many, but you know, maybe setting the alarm 15, 20 minutes earlier than they normally would. Getting up, getting out the door just a little bit earlier to give themselves a little bit of extra travel time is probably a big benefit as we head into Monday," Overton said.
Taking it slow enough for the conditions is also important with the snowplows that will inevitably be on the roads. Overton shared photos with KREM showing the damage done to a WSDOT snowplow south of Ritzville last Thursday. According to Overton, a driver following the snowplow was going too fast and couldn't slow down before hitting the back of the plow.
Overton also said giving snowplows enough space helps keep everyone on the road safe.
"People are in a hurry, and they want to do 60 miles an hour on the highway. That's tough because our plows treat and plow roadways at 35 miles an hour or less," Overton said. "It's not only for their safety and to get the material on the roadway and keep it in the lane, but it's for the safety of the traveling public as well."
According to the City of Spokane Public Works Department, crews will be monitoring the weather conditions to determine if another full-city plow is needed. The usual benchmark is four inches or more of snow, and the city announced that it finished its full-city plow from the last major snowfall early Sunday morning.
City crew are performing maintenance on equipment and refilling supplies, according to City of Spokane Public Works spokesperson Kirstin Davis, and those parking on residential streets are asked to park on the odd-numbered side of those streets to allow plows through as they clear roadways.