January 18th, 2012
Snowmageddon!!! There has been extremely cold air coming down from the Canadian Arctic and apparently today Seattle got a years worth of snow in one day (it normally doesn’t snow much in Seattle)! It also snowed a few days ago (the first snow of the Winter), but nowhere near as much and most of it was gone by yesterday.
Growing up in Australia I have never lived anywhere before where it snows, so this event is somewhat of a novelty to me (and apparently also to many Seattleites). Today I spent hours walking around Queen Anne, Seattle Centre and Downtown Seattle in the snow.
It was quite a bizarre day with near empty streets, people sledding and skiing down hills, many businesses were closed and lots of people were out and about with their dogs playing in the snow (the dogs love it)! Downtown was almost a ghost town! Although today probably caused chaos for people trying to get to and from work etc it was a lot of fun for everyone else (many people didn’t go to work today)! Washington State Patrol reported there were 700 car crashes in Washington State today – people don’t know how to drive in these conditions (but I didn’t see any accidents)!
In the Queen Anne neighbourhood there is the very steep street that goes up to the top of Queen Anne Hill, this was closed by the Police early this morning for safety reasons. Even though it is technically illegal, people were sledding down it early this morning having a great time. I even saw a man who was cross-country skiing to get to work!
By mid afternoon it was a huge party like atmosphere up on Queen Anne Hill, people were sledding, skiing, snowboarding and coming down on anything from pieces of cardboard to inflatable pool toys and crazily pillows inside garbage bags! So many people were up there, it was hilarious good fun. TV news crews were based at the bottom of the hill all day filming the fun and games!
The Police decided to turn a blind eye to the sledding etc today and let people enjoy themselves. Everyone was very orderly and waiting their turn so it was all good. Although by the time I came down the hill the second time, the snow was become wetter, and the ice slicker, it was getting a bit tricky to walk down that’s for sure! The other hazard is where the sleds etc finish up is also where buses often drive through (no accidents as far as I know)! I was also surprised no-one was wearing a helmet as that is solid pavement under that thin covering of snow and ice!
The snow isn’t predicted to last long and in the next couple of days rain will wash it all away. In the meantime people are making the most of it which is great!