Photo by Martha Boston.

Snow day on the Plateau

A foot of snow fell on the Plateau between last Sunday and Monday, closing schools and city services alike. But while students were enjoying a surprise day off, firefighters and police officers were busy dealing with slushy roads, downed power lines and fallen trees.

A foot of snow fell on the Plateau between Sunday and Monday, closing schools and city services alike.

But while students were enjoying a surprise day off, firefighters and police officers were busy dealing with slushy roads, downed power lines and fallen trees.

The Bonney Lake Police Department started tweeting around midnight Monday morning, stating that roads —especially state Route 410 — were not closed, but were becoming increasingly dangerous.

By 4 a.m., the department reported numerous power outages, and street lights along SR 410 were out.

The city of Bonney Lake officially closed around 7 a.m., closing the Justice and Municipal Building and all court appointments for the day, only calling in essential personnel to work.

Enumclaw’s courts were closed, but the city remained open with limited staffing. The Community Service and Development meeting scheduled for Monday night was rescheduled to Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.

Buckley also stayed open with minimum staffing in some areas, but the senior center was closed for the day.

Sumner reported City Hall remained open, but the 7 p.m. City Council meeting was canceled and moved to Feb. 21.

Sumner did close Loyalty Park and the Sumner Link Trail due to large trees being filled with snow.

East Pierce Fire and Rescue, which serves the edges of Buckley to Sumner, had a busy morning.

According to Fire Chief Bud Backer, firefighters and medics responded to 70 alarms between 8 a.m. Sunday morning to 8 a.m. Monday morning.

“A normal shift runs 27 to 34 calls,” he said in a press release. “Answering 70 alarms is an extremely busy day.”

The majority of those calls (28) were medical emergencies; 11 calls were vehicle crashes, in which four people were injured; 13 calls were for downed power lines or trees, and firefighters were also dispatched for what appeared to be brush fires, but turned out to be downed lines.

“With over a foot of snow on the ground, that’s not a brush fire — it is arcing power lines,” Backer said. “Stay clear of downed power lines, as they may still be energized.”

The other 17 calls were for various other emergencies, one being a mutual aid call to a structure fire in Orting.

Puget Sound Energy reported approximately 1,799 customers affected by power outages in the area.

Buckley and Sumner were let off easy, with only 62 and 95 outages reported respectively.

Bonney Lake reported 147 outages, and Enumclaw seems to have taken the brunt of the storm with 1,495 outages.

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