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Storm causes problems for some Vashon residents
Despite icy road conditions on Vashon Thursday evening and Friday, as of Friday afternoon, Vashon Island Fire and Rescue (VIFR) hadn't responded to any weather-related car accidents.
“I was shocked,” said VIFR assistant chief George Brown, “I was ready to go do things.”
Brown said the department did, however, respond when a car slid off the road on 103rd Avenue S.W. — the hill by the north end ferry parking lot — on Friday evening. He said no one in the car was injured.
Jim Didrickson, a supervisor with the King County Roads Division, said the county chose to close 103rd Avenue S.W. between S.W. 112th Street and S.W. 116th Street after the sliding incident. It was reopened Friday morning at about 10 a.m.
“I determined we needed close the road until treatment was applied,” he said.
Didrickson said that Vashon Highway S.W., as well as several other major roads on the Island, were regularly sanded during freezing temperatures.
He said most roads on Vashon were safe by Friday morning, with the exception of a few areas that may be problematic until ice thaws.
“Most of the main roads are safe and drying out. A few of the side roads are still icy,” he said.
As county employees worked Thursday night to keep Vashon roads safe, about 230 homes on the north end of the Island lost power.
Patti McClements, Puget Sound Energy's community service supervisor on Vashon, said that the outage began at about 6 p.m., and all homes had power restored by 9:30 p.m.
While she wasn't sure of the exact cause of the outage, she believe it was related to the storm.
“I know it wasn't snow related. … You could safely say it was cold-weather related,” she said.
Some who made it safely to the ferry dock on Friday morning found themselves without a ride to work. Two of the King County Water Taxi's three morning sailing were cancelled due to high winds and waves. All three of its afternoon sailings were cancelled for the same reason.
Jeremy Butzlaff, King County's shoreside operations manager, said Friday's cancellations were the first weather-related cancelations since November, and attributed them to the strong north winds on the Puget Sound.
“Snow doesn't affect us, just the waves and the wind," he said. “The only real issue of the wind is the docking itself. You bob like a cork and you can't get people on and off the vessel safely.”