Winter Storm Ready

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Weather in the Pacific Northwest can be tricky to navigate. That "mostly sunny" winter day can easily turn into a downpour, or even a slushy snowstorm with short notice, which is why we've created this Winter Storm Ready information page. The City has consolidated the information residents, business owners, and visitors need to safely navigate Mercer Island throughout winter storm season.

FOR THE LATEST UPDATES ON CONDITIONS, SCROLL DOWN TO THE NEWS TAB BELOW.

Power Outages

Power outages can happen for a number of reasons, typically a fallen tree or too much snow/ice buildup on powerlines. The City does not own or manage these powerlines. Please call Puget Sound Energy (PSE) at 1-888-225-5773 to report outages and learn about service restoration. Customers can also view PSE's outage map with estimated power restoration times at www.pse.com/outage/outage-map. For more information, visit our article on Power Outages.

Excessive Rain and Increased Landslide Risk

Landslides develop during intense rainfall, runoff, or rapid snowmelt. The earth can move rapidly, sometimes with little or no warning. Mercer Island sees about 5-15 slides each year. To report a non-life-threatening landslide, call our regional, non-emergency 24-hour dispatch center (425) 577-5656. In the case of an emergency call 9-1-1. Visit our Landslide Safety article for more information.

Ice and Snow

The Public Works Department's goal is to provide sanding, plowing, and de-icing services on public streets when winter weather brings snow and ice, in order of priority. Private streets are not maintained or plowed by the City. Click here to view the map of privately maintained streets.

In addition to plowing and sanding, crews often apply a pre-treatment of liquid deicer (see map) to other arterials located on steep hills and major intersections to help prevent minor ice build-up and make streets easier to plow. If compacted snow has already built up on the roadway, this deicer is less effective.

The City has six plows, three of which have sander units; one truck is used mostly for liquid de-icing. Follow this link for more information on the City's Snow and Ice Response Plan.

Your Resource for Up-to-Date Information and Safety Tips

During a major winter weather event, this page will be updated regularly with road closures/openings, safety tips, and more. Sign up to receive the Winter Weather E-Newsletter delivered straight to your inbox during weather event (see upper right-hand menu).



Weather in the Pacific Northwest can be tricky to navigate. That "mostly sunny" winter day can easily turn into a downpour, or even a slushy snowstorm with short notice, which is why we've created this Winter Storm Ready information page. The City has consolidated the information residents, business owners, and visitors need to safely navigate Mercer Island throughout winter storm season.

FOR THE LATEST UPDATES ON CONDITIONS, SCROLL DOWN TO THE NEWS TAB BELOW.

Power Outages

Power outages can happen for a number of reasons, typically a fallen tree or too much snow/ice buildup on powerlines. The City does not own or manage these powerlines. Please call Puget Sound Energy (PSE) at 1-888-225-5773 to report outages and learn about service restoration. Customers can also view PSE's outage map with estimated power restoration times at www.pse.com/outage/outage-map. For more information, visit our article on Power Outages.

Excessive Rain and Increased Landslide Risk

Landslides develop during intense rainfall, runoff, or rapid snowmelt. The earth can move rapidly, sometimes with little or no warning. Mercer Island sees about 5-15 slides each year. To report a non-life-threatening landslide, call our regional, non-emergency 24-hour dispatch center (425) 577-5656. In the case of an emergency call 9-1-1. Visit our Landslide Safety article for more information.

Ice and Snow

The Public Works Department's goal is to provide sanding, plowing, and de-icing services on public streets when winter weather brings snow and ice, in order of priority. Private streets are not maintained or plowed by the City. Click here to view the map of privately maintained streets.

In addition to plowing and sanding, crews often apply a pre-treatment of liquid deicer (see map) to other arterials located on steep hills and major intersections to help prevent minor ice build-up and make streets easier to plow. If compacted snow has already built up on the roadway, this deicer is less effective.

The City has six plows, three of which have sander units; one truck is used mostly for liquid de-icing. Follow this link for more information on the City's Snow and Ice Response Plan.

Your Resource for Up-to-Date Information and Safety Tips

During a major winter weather event, this page will be updated regularly with road closures/openings, safety tips, and more. Sign up to receive the Winter Weather E-Newsletter delivered straight to your inbox during weather event (see upper right-hand menu).


  • February 12-15 Snowstorm Recap

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    City crews did a great job of keeping priority streets clear during the snow event in mid-February, switching to round-the-clock staffing coverage for four days.

    In 2018, the City installed trackers on all snowplows/trucks to collect data about geographic coordinates, the number of treatments provided at a given location, and the impact of changing weather conditions. During this year’s snow event, GIS staff were able to analyze the data more fully and produce a map that informed work assignments for the crews. Between February 12-15 crews:

    • Plowed 1103 miles (equivalent to driving from Mercer Island to Las Vegas!) and used
      • 26 yards of salt
      • 15 yards of sand
      • 1500 gallons of liquid deicer.

    With plenty of reserves remaining, the City is ready for another late winter storm if it arises. You can view the City's Snow & Ice Response Plan, and many other resources, throughout this winter preparedness page.

  • Recology Snow Schedule

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    February 16: Due to snow delays, Recology is implementing a one-day delayed collection schedule for the remainder of the week.

    They collected Monday residential customers on Tuesday and Tuesday customers will be collected Wednesday, and so on, with Friday customers being collected on Saturday.

    Visit the Recology Mercer Island page for the latest information: www.recology.com/recology-cleanscapes/mercer-island

  • February 15 Snowstorm Update (8:00am)

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    (8:00am) With rain coming back into the forecast today, and the end of freezing temperatures, road conditions are much improved and all road closures have been reopened overnight. Crews will be working on trouble spots on the smallest residential streets today especially those with steep hills, and also clearing parking lots at some City parks.

    Due to conditions on the smaller streets across the region, Recology has *canceled* recycling/compost/garbage service for today and currently plans to collect each neighborhood ONE DAY later. (This includes running collections on Saturday Feb 20, to service Friday’s normal accounts.)

    When safe to do so, you can help prevent local flooding in your neighborhood by clearing out the storm drains along your street – there will be a lot of runoff to manage as the rain melts snow.

    For 24/7, non-emergency assistance, please call the City's Dispatch Center at 425-577-5656.

    For emergencies, always call 911


  • February 14 Snowstorm Update (8:30am)

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    (8:30am) Good news – As the storm slows down City crews have been able to open some road closures. All Priority 1 and Priority 2 roads have been plowed and, where needed, treated with salt/sand. Plows are now starting on Priority 3 roads (i.e. smaller residential) this morning. If new snow begins to accumulate today, they will revisit Priority 1 areas to keep them cleared. See plow map here.

    At this time, today’s road closures are as follows, but this list may change at any time:

    • SE 40th St from 76th Ave SE to West Mercer Way (both directions)
    • SE 24th St from 7200 block to 7600 block
    • SE 53rd Pl from Island Crest Way to East Mercer Way (both directions)
    • SE 70th Pl from Island Crest Way to East Mercer Way

    For 24/7, non-emergency assistance through the weekend, please call the City's Dispatch Center at 425-577-5656.

    For emergencies, always call 911

    Due to road conditions, the Thrift Shop will not be open today for retail operations.

  • February 13 Snowstorm Update (7:00pm)

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    (7:00pm) Mercer Island received close to 8 inches of snow overnight and a few more inches today. City crews were out all day plowing main arterials.

    Snow is now expected to taper through the evening with possible accumulations of an additional 1-2" through 9:00pm tonight. On Sunday, we may see an additional inch of snow and icy roads Sunday night. Rain is expected by Monday afternoon and evening as temperatures recover into the low 40s -- please clear storm drains in your neighborhood if safe to do so, in order to avoid localized flooding from snowmelt.

    Today’s road closures will remain overnight into Sunday (Feb 14) for safety. This list may change at any time:

    • Gallagher Hill (both directions)
    • SE 40th St from 76th Ave SE to West Mercer Way (both directions)
    • SE 24th St from 76th Ave to West Mercer Way (both directions)
    • SE 53rd Pl from ICW to East Mercer Way (both directions)
    • SE 72nd St to West Mercer Way
    • SE 70th Pl to East Mercer Way
    • Shorewood Dr from North Mercer Way


    For 24/7, non-emergency assistance through the weekend, please call the City's Dispatch Center at 425-577-5656. For emergencies, always call 911

  • February 13 Snowstorm Update (6:30am)

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    (6:30am) - The City received approximately 8 inches of snow overnight and City crews were out all night plowing and will continue though the day. The following roads were closed by the MIPD as a precaution: This list may change at any time:

    • Gallagher Hill (both directions)
    • SE 40th St from 76th Ave SE to West Mercer Way (both directions)
    • SE 24th St from 76th Ave to West Mercer Way (both directions)
    • SE 53rd Pl from ICW to East Mercer Way (both directions)
    • SE 72nd St to West Mercer Way
    • SE 70th Pl to East Mercer Way
    • Shorewood Dr from North Mercer Way

    To report snowdrifts, icy patches, damaged road signs, etc, please use the City online service request portal: MI-Connect

    For downed powerlines and related outage issues, consult the PSE Outage Map, or call 1-888-225-5773

    To report fallen trees, call the City's 24/7 non-emergency Dispatch Center at 425-577-5656

    Thrift Shop donations (at the Community Center) have been canceled today.

    For emergencies call 911

  • Be Prepared for Icy Roads and Snow Friday Night

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    (Feb 12 - 6:30pm) We're expecting about 2-4 inches of snow during Friday night for Mercer Island, with a strong chance of icy patches as the roads cool down. Drive cautiously!

    Another 2-4 inches of snow currently expected for tomorrow. Major updates and road closures will be posted on this page.

  • Be Prepared for Feb 10-13 Snow

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    February 9, 2021 - Once again, February snows look likely and weather forecasts are beginning to agree on a few inches falling several times between Wednesday night (flurries) all the way through Sunday.

    Make sure you are ready at home (e.g. snow shovel, sand or ice-melter) and that your vehicle is prepared for winter driving. Remember to park your car well onto the shoulder of our main arterials so City snowplows can do their important work! View our Snow & Ice Response Plan for City roadways.

    You can view many other winter storm resources from this page to get ready!

  • Afternoon Update on January 13 Windstorm

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    Jan 14, 2021 - (Updated: 1:00pm) PSE made good progress since yesterday, and now reports approximately 900 residents remain without power, down from 4,000 on Wednesday evening. The two largest remaining outages are at SE 53rd Street and West Mercer Way (affecting 306 customers), and at 84th Avenue and SE 34th Place (affecting 302 customers).

    A restoration time of 3:00pm is now listed for the SE 53rd location, and PSE’s arborist contractor is now working on a tree/powerline entanglement at the 84th Avenue location. To get the latest status, check the outage map www.pse.com/outagemap or call 1-888-225-5773.

    The City is aware of 5 roads that remain blocked, or partially blocked. Once powerline work is complete, City crews can assist PSE with tree/debris removal:

    • 9100 block of SE 53rd Place
    • 6900 block SE 35th Street
    • 9400 block of SE 44th Street
    • 6200 block 92nd Avenue SE
    • 96th Ave SE between 3300-3500

    Even though the winds have died down, it is possible a few more trees may fall due to the very wet and weak soils. If you encounter a new blockage, please report it by calling the City’s 24/7 dispatch center at: 425-577-5656.

    This will be the final City update for this storm incident, unless major new developments occur.

    Learn best practices and other tips on how to be prepared for future power outages at ready.gov/power-outages

    # # #

    Did you interact with or see a City of Mercer Island employee going above and beyond? We’d love to hear about it! Share your kudos here.

  • Second Update on January 13 Windstorm

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    (Jan 13, 2021 5:30pm update) - City crews have almost wrapped up their work on several dozen tree blockages and many other debris sites around the Island. At this point, PSE has the access it needs and the remaining restoration tasks all involve electrical line work. Three locations (listed below) with downed power lines also have completely snapped poles which will need to be trucked in; these locations will not see power restoration tonight. PSE believes it may discover more snapped poles in the coming hours due to the severity of last night's gusts.

    Even though the winds have died down, trees may still fall overnight due to the very wet and weak soils. Drive cautiously tonight, and if you encounter a new blockage, please report it by calling the City’s 24/7 dispatch center at: 425-577-5656.

    Traffic Lights:

    If you encounter unlit traffic signals, remember to keep treating each signaled intersection as a 4-way stop. The City does not have enough police officers to staff each intersection.

    Power Outages:

    PSE now reports 22 outages on the Island, which reflects more refined detail gathered from their initial “windshield survey” teams. Many of these outages involve just one lane, or only a few houses. Collectively, the total impact is now estimated to be about 4,000 customers (down from 7,000 this afternoon). To get the latest status, check the PSE outage map (at www.pse.com/outage/outage-map) or call 1-888-225-5773.

    Don’t touch downed powerlines. Remember not to use gas ovens/ranges for heating and don’t burn charcoal indoors. Keep fridges and freezers closed as much as possible.

    Internet Access:

    Comcast continues to work on reconnecting cable service after PSE finishes electrical work in each location.

    Road Blockages:

    The only remaining known blockages are as follows, and all of them now require specialized work from PSE. Note that the City does not clear debris or remove trees from private roads – homeowners must arrange this independently.

    CLOSED:

    • 6200 92nd Ave SE
    • 9104 SE 53rd Place
    • 6905 SE 35th St (several snapped poles)
    • 3305 96th Ave SE (snapped pole)
    • 3502 96th Ave SE (snapped pole)

    Stay safe!


    Did you interact with or see a City of Mercer Island employee going above and beyond? We’d love to hear about it! Share your kudos here.

Page last updated: 14 January 2021, 15:18