Southwest Washington digging out of double-digit snowfall
Lewis County communities including Napavine and Chehalis are dealing with more than a foot of snow, and looking ahead to possible flooding.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Faced with more than 21 inches of new snow at his Chehalis home, House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt spent his morning in teleconferences and planning out a potential sledding plan with his 14-year-old son, Austin.
While the snow dump was the largest amount he has seen since moving into his house 16 years ago, DeBolt said he was ready to trek into the Legislature once an accident blocking his street is cleared.
"I lived in Wyoming, so snow doesn't bother me at all. I kind of thought 'snowpocalypse' wouldn't happen, but it did," said DeBolt, R-Chehalis. "My kids are happy, I'm glad to be with my family, play in the snow, drink some hot chocolate and get some work done."
In many places across Lewis County, residents were buried in double digits of new snow.
Lewis County Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said that employees living in Napavine have called in to report receiving 19 or 20 inches of snow. Lewis said that people have been good about staying off the roads.
"Everybody is really smart we've only had two collisions since midnight and two reported power outages," Brown said.
Though the snow turned to rain in some parts of Lewis County on Wednesday afternoon, Brown said that flooding isn't a concern yet, because "the rivers aren't full."
DeBolt, though, has his attentions turned to possible flooding in the coming days. He said crews plan to start putting sand bags in place on Thursday as a precaution for flooding on the Chehalis River.
At Sweeny's Ace Hardware in Napavine, people were coming in Wednesday to get snow shovels, wood pellets and to check if any sleds were back in stock.
Chuck Waggoner, an employee at the store, said they hope to get more sleds in Thursday.
Elsewhere in Napavine a creative motorist took a snowmobile down a major thoroughfare and teenager Teona Kinswa took her four-wheeler out for a spin.
"We've been riding our quads for years but never had so much snow," the 16-year-old said.
Fire Chief Eric Linn, whose Lewis County Fire District Five handles a 66-square-mile area, said there were no injury car crashes or other major 911 calls on Wednesday. Linn said his main concern is the possibility of freezing rain and heavy winds that might topple trees or down power lines.
Seattle Times staff reporter Hal Bernton contributed to this report from Napavine.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.