The Plateau was transformed into a winter wonderland this Christmas weekend, and the Plateau Ministerial Association (PMA) is providing a severe weather shelter in Enumclaw for the next few days for those who need to get out of the cold.
“Dangerously cold temperatures” have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a special weather statement for the region. The daily high this week is predicted to hover around the low to mid 30s, with lows around 20 degrees and falling as low as 17 degrees Tuesday night. More snow — anywhere between 1 and 4 inches—could accumulate over Wednesday night and Thursday, according to the weather service.
Temperatures are forecast to start climbing again after New Year’s Day, reach a high of 35 that day and climb to around 39 degrees by Sunday.
Additionally, those who rely on King County Metro’s 915 DART bus route to get between Auburn and Enumclaw should plan another way of getting around, for now.
The county shifted bus service for Metro to its emergency snow routes on Monday, meaning only about 60 routes are active, and the 915 is not one of them. This change is done to account for challenging snow conditions, according to the county.
The change became effective at 4 a.m. on Monday and is in effect “until further notice,” Metro said Monday. It will be reassessed daily. (For a map of the snow routes, visit: kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/alerts-updates/winter)
The 907 route, which connects Black Diamond through Maple Valley to Renton, is still in service under the snow route system, according to King County Metro.
The Enumclaw Fire Department recommended caution Sunday for those walking or driving in the ice and cold, including bundling up, packing an emergency vehicle kit and using chains to drive if needed.
From Sunday through at least Thursday, the PMA will take in those who need shelter from the elements from 6:30 p.m. through 7:00 a.m. each night. Simple breakfasts and dinners will be offered. Here’s how to sign up, according to Hope Lutheran Church Pastor Keith Marshall.
• (Optional) Pre-register for the shelter at the Plateau Outreach Ministries business office on Marshall Street, across from the Post Office. Doing so helps PMA prepare for the people who will be using the shelter and ensure a safe environment, but those who don’t pre-register won’t be turned away, Marshall said.
• Show up and check in at the Calvary Presbyterian Education Building at 6:30 p.m. (That’s accessible from Wells Street, behind the church’s main building.) Those needing shelter will be driven from there to the shelter building. PMA isn’t publicly listing the location of the shelter itself to make sure they don’t get too many people showing up without registering.
Those who don’t show up by 7:00 p.m. won’t be able to get a ride to the shelter from PMA, but Marshall said that they do work with the police to bring people in if they’re found freezing outside.
“It looks cold and miserable out,” Marshall said. “I would not want to be sleeping out tonight, and I hope that people … take advantage of these opportunities.”
CITY OF ENUMCLAW UPDATE
According to Mayor Jan Molinaro in a Dec. 26 Facebook post, city plows have been sanding, salting, and plowing since Saturday (Dec. 25) focusing on priority routes such around St. Elizabeth hospital.
“The downtown streets such as Cole has been plowed already and will continue to be plowed as snow accumulates,” Molinaro continued. “We ask for patience as our plows continue to work through the night and into tomorrow. Sand and salt will continue to be put [down].”
Molinaro reminded residents that state highways outside the city limits (like SR 410) is the responsibility of the state Department of Transportation, and updates can be read at https://wsdot.wa.gov/.