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Seattle’s $10.2M emergency response plan set to go in effect for winter weather

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(The Center Square) – Seattle is preparing to launch its snow plow fleet and other emergency weather services as the city prepares for blizzard conditions, heavy snow, and strong winds in western Washington.

According to the National Weather Service, current projections for the city include potentially freezing temperatures starting Thursday and continuing through Sunday. There is a small chance of snow during that time span as well.

“Seattle residents should take care and be safe during this week’s weather event and throughout the winter season,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a statement. “City staff and crews are prepared to address weather impacts and will continue proactively monitoring the forecast to ensure a swift and appropriate response.”

The Seattle Department of Transportation told The Center Square that it has a fleet of more than 50 vehicles with snow and ice removing equipment and in excess of 100 crew members out on the field.

The city’s budget funds dedicated to emergency responses, including severe winter weather, was $9 million in 2022, $9.8 million in 2023, and $10.2 million in 2024.

“We prioritize our resources to keep over 1,000 miles of the city’s most critical streets accessible,” Seattle Department of Transportation Deputy Press Secretary Mariam Ali told The Center Square in an email. “These essential routes are chosen because they are used by the greatest number of people as well as emergency services, freight, and buses.”

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority has also activated its severe weather response, which entails opening emergency shelters and warming centers throughout Seattle and the King County region for homeless people in need.

Available overnight shelters include the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall and a severe weather shelter in the SODO District.

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