UPDATE: Another frigid night is forecast for South Sound, with a low of 16 degrees in Olympia tonight. However, temperatures are forecast to moderate over the weekend, with highs near 40 and the low staying just above freezing.
South Sound drivers can expect an icy commute this morning, after nearly five inches of snow fell on Thurston County on Thursday and overnight lows were expected to fall into the teens.
An additional one to three inches of snow was forecast for Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.
Still, the area weathered Thursday’s snowfall relatively well. No major power outages were reported, and no major injury crashes were reported on Interstate 5 and other major roads, although there were a few spin-outs, Washington State Patrol Trooper Guy Gill said Thursday.
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AAA Washington, which provides roadside service to its members, said people began calling Wednesday night for tow-truck service and to jump-start vehicles. Tow-truck service in the Olympia area jumped 50 percent and calls for battery service rose 67 percent as snow started to fall, AAA spokeswoman Jennifer Cook said. AAA data for Thursday was not yet available.
After an icy start today, the weather is expected to clear and be mostly sunny, but temperatures are forecast to fall to about 16 degrees tonight, meteorologist Carl Cerniglia said Thursday. Temperatures during the day are likely to remain in the mid-30s today and Saturday, followed by a weak weather system that is expected to bring a chance of light snow – changing to rain – late Saturday. Rain is in the forecast for Sunday, he said.
Road crews have been busy in Olympia, Lacey and Thurston County, and their work continued through the night. Olympia and county crews cleared major roads and began clearing secondary and residential streets Thursday. Because of limited equipment, Lacey road crews continued to clear main roads, intersections, curves and hills, public works operations manager Brad Burdick said.
Thurston County public works spokesman Keith Eisner reminded residents to try to move parked cars and garbage containers out of the street. “It will really help our operations,” he said.
Eisner added, “If you don’t have to travel, stay home, please.”
In Olympia, the Lakeridge Drive hill near the Thurston County Courthouse reopened about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, and steep hills on Fourth Avenue, Raft Street and San Francisco Street were to reopen Thursday afternoon, Olympia public works spokeswoman Bonnie Herrington said.