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).


  • Are You Ready for Winter Driving?

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    Winter driving conditions have arrived and now is a good time to make sure you are prepared!

    Whether you are headed to the mountains for some snow-fun or over the mountains to see loved ones, we want to make sure you are ready for the conditions. Follow these tips and tricks to stay safe on the road this winter.

    Winterize Your Vehicle
    Regularly check the wipers, tires, lights, and fluid levels (radiator, windshield washer, power steering, oil and brakes). Make sure brakes and transmission are working properly. Your vehicle should also be equipped with a winter emergency kit. The following items are recommended:
    • Ice scraper, snow brush, rags and paper towels.
    • Jumper cables, basic tool kit, antifreeze, and no-freeze windshield washer fluid.
    • Shovel, mats or old rugs for traction, tire chains, salt, sand or kitty litter.
    • Blankets or sleeping bag and extra clothing (e.g. hats, socks, waterproof boots, coat and gloves).
    • Non-perishable, high calorie food.
    • Candles, waterproof matches and metal container such as a coffee can for melting snow.
    • Flashlight and extra batteries, flares or roadway reflectors.
    • Basic first aid kits and fire extinguisher.
    Vehicle Operation
    Winter driving is often the most difficult driving due to blowing snow, icy slick spots, and fewer daylight hours. When you are on the road you should:
    • Know before you go! Check out the forecast and WSDOT road status before you hit the road.
    • Wear your seat belt.
    • Be prepared to turn back or seek shelter if conditions become bad.
    • Keep your windows clear of snow and ice. Do not start off until your windshield is defrosted.
    • DRIVE SLOWER and increase your following distance. Do not use cruise control.
    • Roadway conditions may vary widely due to sun, shade, or roadway surface. Watch for slick spots especially on bridges, overpasses, and shaded spots.
    • If the pavement is snow or ice covered, start slowly and brake gently. Begin braking early when you come to an intersection.
    • Be careful after a minor accident. If you do not feel comfortable exiting your vehicle, motion the other driver and drive to the nearest police station, 24-hour store, service station, hospital, or fire station.
    Stuck or Stranded

    If your vehicle breaks down, pull as far off the road as possible. Your greatest personal danger at this point is that of being hit by a passing vehicle. Don't panic. Do not over-exert yourself, especially when shoveling snow or pushing a stalled or stuck vehicle.

    If you are stranded on a well traveled road, wait for assistance from police or other emergency service providers. Raise the hood, turn on the dome light and flashers to make your vehicle more noticeable and attach a cloth to the antenna or windows.

    Other drivers who see stranded motorists can do them a favor by using a cellphone to call and report the exact location and description of the vehicle.

    Back Home

    When you return home from a winter trip, wash your vehicle to remove dirt and road salt. A coat of wax will help protect the finish from the effects of salt. Lubricate door and trunk locks to prevent them from freezing.

    Winter Weather on Mercer Island

    When ice, snow or freezing fog is expected in Mercer Island, City crews head out and pre-treat known trouble spots on roads and sidewalks with de-icer, which can help prevent slippery conditions.

    During snow cycles, City plow trucks clear and sand arterials, critical intersections, and major access routes on and off the Island, followed by secondary and residential streets when time permits.

    All residents can help the City keep roadways clear and prevent accidents:

    • Please give snowplow drivers plenty of space and park well away from the road edge
    • Drive cautiously (slow, steady, headlights on, cruise control off, plan well ahead)
    • Consult the City's plowing, sanding, and deicing pages for more information
    The City does NOT plow private roads; find out if you live on one here.



  • Snow Plow Safety

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    Winter driving conditions can vary from day to day. Be prepared at all times, by knowing the road conditions and having an alternate route planned.

    When you approach a snowplow from behind, pass with care.

    Only pass when you can see the road ahead.

    You should not try and pass in blowing snow.

    Allow more distance between you and the plow, they may be spreading sand or chemicals.

    Slow down and approach with caution. A snowplow may be clearing snow in that lane or preparing to turn around.

    Don't crowd the plow.



  • MICEC Inclement Weather Policy

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    The MICEC is not open to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.
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    Daytime Classes & Programs
    Daytime classes and programs at the Community Center are canceled if the Mercer Island School District cancels classes due to severe weather conditions. If the Mercer Island School District is running 2 hours late, then morning classes (before 10:00 am) are canceled. A determination about afternoon and evening classes will be made by 2:00 pm. Facility operation and class cancelation information is recorded on the Inclement Weather Hotline at 206-275-7894.

    Make up classes will be rescheduled if possible, if not then a credit will be given for the canceled class. It is the responsibility of each participant in Parks & Recreations programs to know if their program has been canceled due to school district delays or cancelations of school. If participants are unsure whether a program has been canceled, they can call the Inclement Weather Hotline at 206-275-7894 or go to the school district website at www.mercerislandschools.org. For all other cancelations, participants will be notified by either a staff member or the program instructors.

    Room Rentals
    If inclement weather affects the ability of the Mercer Island Community & Event Center (MICEC) to operate properly, and we need to cancel a room rental, then we will contact your rental group and provide a refund. If your group needs to cancel due to inclement weather but the MICEC remains open for business, then the rental cancelation policy will be in effect.

    For more visit http://www.mercergov.org/Page.asp?NavID=1938.