SEATTLE – Sorry, Siri. Turn-by-turn driving directions just won't suffice in a big Seattle snowstorm.
People with tickets for "Uncle Vanya" at the ACT Theatre were out of luck, too, as Seattle got its biggest snowfall in a decade this week, and performance venues up and down the Pacific Northwest coast went dark. Justin Timberlake bailed out on his scheduled Tacoma Dome show Sunday, and Michelle Obama rescheduled an appearance in support of her new book. Hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled Saturday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and the problems continued into Sunday.
Snow isn't unheard-of here in the nation's upper northwest corner. This isn't Atlanta or Tallahassee, Fla., where the rare falling flake can send people flocking into the street to shiver and stare up in wonder with their tongues extended. But neither is it Denver, Minneapolis or Chicago, where anything short of an all-out blizzard merits little more than a shrug.
In Seattle, the muscle memory just isn't there for big snow — whether in deploying salt spreaders and plows or in getting a snow-day reprieve from an algebra test — so the responses, for better or worse, are sharpened by the novelty.
Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency, and Seattle's Emergency Management Office urged people to be prepared to lose power if lines go down. Interstate 90 was closed Sunday morning in both directions east of Seattle because of blowing and drifting snow. Kids and their parents commandeered city streets for sledding, sometimes blocking traffic with homemade signs.
The National Weather Service said that Seattle, less than halfway into the month, has already had its snowiest February since 1949, after 7.9 inches were recorded at the airport Friday and Saturday. And three more storms, backed up one behind the other on a slippery slope from Canada, are heading toward the region starting on Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
New York Times