South Whidbey Fire/EMS busy with accidents after snowstorm
By BEN WATANABE
South Whidbey Record Sports, South Whidbey School District, South Whidbey Fire/EMS
January 16, 2012 · Updated 1:00 PM
CLINTON — Snow and ice-covered roads kept South Whidbey Fire/EMS busy this weekend. Emergency crews responded to a half-dozen car accidents on South Whidbey between Saturday and Sunday, including a rollover crash in Scatchet Head.
No serious injuries were reported.
“None of them were serious enough where anybody was transported to the hospital,” said South Whidbey Assistant Fire Chief Paul Busch.
Most of the car accidents were not collisions, as drivers slid off the road and into ditches thanks to slick conditions.
Busch said the Freeland area, where the department’s offices are, was mostly clear and the majority of the snow problems were in Clinton and Scatchet Head, including a rollover near Swede Hill Road and Mortland Drive.
“The people walked away from that one,” Busch said.
Several inches of snow fell in the Clinton area overnight Saturday, with an additional dusting on Sunday. Most roads were clear, and the state Department of Transportation had snow plows working on Highway 525 Sunday to keep up with the weather.
Temperatures well below freezing caused a waterline to rupture Sunday at a house on Bayview Road. Responders from the fire district closed the road and Busch called in the county’s sanding truck, as water from the line quickly froze on the street.
“There was about a 50-foot stretch that was an ice skating rink,” Busch said.
More extreme winter weather is expected later this week.
The National Weather Service office in Seattle has issued a winter storm watch for Wednesday morning through Wednesday evening for Western Washington, including Whidbey Island and the Admiralty Inlet area.
Forecasters said there is the potential for "a significant snow event," and are advising travelers to be ready for winter driving conditions. Drivers should carry an extra flashlight, food, water and blankets in case of an emergency.
Up to four inches of snow is expected on South Whidbey during the day on Wednesday.
The forecast for Tuesday is for snow showers, with less than an inch of new snow.
With a second wave of snowfall in the coming days, South Whidbey Fire/EMS is prepared. Each vehicle has its own tire chains and a bucket of rock salt, though Busch said the decision to use them is up to each station because snowfall varies widely on South Whidbey.
“So far, not too bad,” Busch said. “We’ll see what this next round of snow brings in.”Contact South Whidbey Record Sports, South Whidbey School District, South Whidbey Fire/EMS Ben Watanabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-221-5300.