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South Whidbey roads may lack snow removal

Motorists should plan for winter road driving, say Island County officials.

Though the area does not normally experience a lot of snowfall, when it does, it is a hazard. By changing driving habits and using appropriate snow tires or traction devices, snow driving can be made safer.

Conditions may dictate that steep roads that cannot be safely plowed or sanded will be closed.

Some roads that may not be sanded or plowed on South Whidbey are Nation Drive and Gamble Street.

Black ice, however, represents an invisible hazard, hard to predict when and where it will form. Heavy frost on windshields is an indication that a similar frost coating may also exist on roadway surfaces. Sanding has limited benefits on black ice and the sand can quickly be blown off the surface by traffic and high winds.

More information on winter driving can be found at the Washington State Patrol website, www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/winter.htm or the Washington State Department of Transportation website, www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter

Island County freezing weather lines and additional information, such as maps reflecting snow removal routes, may be viewed on the website www.takewinterbystorm.org/freeze

Island County’s crews will focus their efforts on public roads, with primary attention given to clearing school bus/commuter routes, which are generally the principal roadways for travel. Secondary roads, which include most of the roads within residential communities, will be plowed/sanded as crews are available.

Road crews generally start their work at 4 a.m. and end their shifts at 8 p.m., when most commuters have returned from work. However, extreme conditions can warrant 24-hour response.

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