Mayor Dana Ralph: ‘We weathered the storm – together!’

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph released the following statement as part of her Weekly Newsletter on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019:

We weathered the storm – together!

This has been quite a week with multiple snow storms, ice, rain, slush – you name it! We’ve had a bit of everything. While many enjoyed the snow, it shut down schools, businesses and even some City facilities while we worked to clear our roads.

Considering our City is 34 square miles and has 310 miles of public roadways, we had a lot of ground to cover, and we couldn’t get to all of it.

Here are some interesting facts about how the City responded to the weather, specifically our amazing Public Works Operations crews and their staff who provided round-the-clock support.

  • Staff worked two 12-hour shifts, starting the evening of February 3 through the evening of February 12, a total duration of 218 hours.
  • They used eight snow plows, one with liquid deicer and seven with sanders to plow our City streets in order of priority, according to our snow and ice response plan.
  • More than 1.5 million pounds of sand, 65,000 pounds of salt, 5,750 gallons of Calcium Chloride (deicer) and 100 sets of tire chains were used.
  • With 24/7 use for 10 full days, our trucks took a beating. We had to make repairs to transmission lines, brake lines, wipers, plows, flat tires, snow chains and more. They are repaired and ready just in case we need them again this season (sure hope we don’t).

Now that the snow has ended and is starting to melt, we have to address localized flooding, potholes and clean-up of the sand. It will take time and a lot of work. We will continue to update you on road conditions. If you have not already, please follow us on social media or by subscribing to Drive Kent.

I want to thank our community for their patience during this winter weather. We were prepared, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t challenging, and you were very understanding – thank you.

I also want to thank our Public Works crews for their tireless efforts at keeping us moving. Our first responders helped keep us all safe including Kent Police Department who kept drivers off closed roads and helped our crews and first responders get through snowy and icy roads, Puget Sound Fire who responded to emergencies and kept people informed, and Valley Com who handled a significant increase in calls when the snow hit and staff who spent the night to ensure calls could be answered timely. Together, we weathered this storm!

Have a great weekend,
Dana