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Thurston County’s winter wonderland turns to slushy mess

December Snow Day

Join the Tindall and Szydlowski boys as they enjoy a snow day in Tumwater with snowball fights and building snowmen.
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Join the Tindall and Szydlowski boys as they enjoy a snow day in Tumwater with snowball fights and building snowmen.

Thursday night’s snowstorm quickly became slush on Thurston County streets Friday, but not before many had a chance to indulge their children and inner children.

Residents saw as much as 8 inches of snowfall overnight, said Meghan Porter, a county spokeswoman. The snow brought children and adults alike outside to play, building snowmen in front yards and sledding down hills.

Most Thurston County school districts canceled school Friday because of the weather: Griffin, Olympia, Tumwater, Yelm, Rainier and Rochester. The Olympia and Lacey senior centers also remained closed for the day.

Road crews, however, had little time to play. They worked all night to make roads passable for commuters.

“It was hard to keep up at first because so much snow was falling,” Porter said. “But they caught up eventually.”

“They’re still out this afternoon getting rid of the slush on the roads.”

Olympia police officers were busy all night, responding to snow-related traffic incidents, said Lt. Paul Lower. About 6 p.m. Thursday, all of Olympia’s patrol officers were responding to wrecks and other traffic issues.

Within Olympia city limits, officers responded to 12 crashes and six other snow-related traffic incidents — such as drivers getting stuck in snow.

But no one was seriously injured, Lower said. He said the city’s Public Works Department and road crews deserve most of the credit for that.

“They were out there at 4 o’clock (p.m.) trying to keep the roads safe,” Lower said. “When the snow comes, we can’t appreciate the men and women on the road crew enough.”

Lacey police officers stepped out of their normal duties Thursday night and helped drivers chain up, according to a Twitter post.

Photos on the Olympia Firefighters IAFF Local 468 Facebook page show fire crews chaining up the engines.

The weather returns to normal for the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Showers and rain are forecast, and temperatures won’t dip below 34 degrees.

Amelia Dickson: 360-754-5445, @Amelia_Oly

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