This Week in Kirkland: Snow Event Edition

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this week in kirkland

February 13, 2019

city of kirkland washington

Updates from the City Manager

Kurt Triplett

This has been quite a week for all of us. We experienced the largest snow event in decades. In 7 days, some neighborhoods in Kirkland received over 18" of snow. Monday's rain and snow left downed trees all over the city. We experienced four major winter events in less than a week. Public Works crews and Parks crews, along with Police and Fire, have been working around the clock. To keep our community safe, Waste Management has been unable to pick-up some community members' garbage, recycling, and compost for three weeks.

I want to share with you information about our response and recovery, as well as helpful resources for you. But first, I want to say thank you. Thank you to our Public Works and Parks crews for working tirelessly to clear roads, remove fallen trees and respond to requests for assistance. Thank you to our Police and Fire crews for continuing to serve the public even in these challenging conditions. Thank you to our Emergency Operations and Information Technology staff for assisting in the coordination of our response efforts. Thank you to all of our City staff who came into City Hall or worked remotely to make sure that we maintained a functioning government.

Most of all, I want to thank every member of our community, not just for your patience and understanding during our response, but for your willingness to lend a helping hand. Many of you were out shoveling sidewalks, clearing storm drains, helping neighbors with vehicles stuck in the snow, or offering to pick up groceries for neighbors that didn't feel comfortable leaving their homes. It is this type of community-wide response that makes our community strong, and it is this type of effort that will help us survive and thrive if we ever face a major disaster such as a earthquake. I am proud and grateful to be a member of this community. 


Thank you,


Kurt Triplett

City Manager 


Winter Storm Resources

Public Works and Parks are working diligently to plow our streets, remove felled trees from public right-of-way, and clear our storm drains. The following are our resources for information or to report challenges in your neighborhood:

Road Closures List: An ongoing road closure list will be available in the Latest News Section on the homepage of the City website

Power lines/cable down: Please call 911 or Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773 or 

Report Downed Trees: Call 911 if it is an emergency or report the tree through our service portal

Trees down in Park: Report downed tree in parks through our service portal

Trees down on private property: Trees that have fallen on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. 

Updates on Waste Management Service: Visit  

Snow Removal Update

Snow Plow

On Friday, February 8, at approximately 12:30 p.m., Kirkland maintenance crews consisting of approximately 35 available staff members began plowing, sanding, and deicing Kirkland streets and public facilities (Fire Stations, City Hall, Kirkland Justice Center). Crews operated 24-hours per day in separate 8-hour shifts.  During this period, which experienced three separate measurable snow fall events, the primary focus has been on the 130 shoulder-mile network of pre-determined Priority 1, 2, and 3 routes; there are nearly 500 shoulder-miles of roads within the City of Kirkland.

Employing the entire available fleet of six full-size dump truck plow/sander units, three pick-up plow vehicles, and two liquid application spray trucks, crews were able to keep the Priority routes open and maintained with minimal closures experienced.  Police and Fire responders were able to provide service to the community throughout the event, and officers were able to coordinate road closures with Public Works.

With the first real cessation of snowfall early Tuesday, February 12, maintenance crews completed another round of tending to Priority routes, and then they were finally able to move to local and neighborhood streets.  Continual use of the equipment, 24-hour shifts, and favorable weather conditions have allowed crews to access roads not plowed in any other previous snow event.  Difficulties now being encountered include narrow roads with cars parked along both shoulders, deep often extremely wet snow (in some cases 10-12”), and many driveway piles of snow that are placed in the roadway.  Crews are doing their very best to get to as many low volume roads as possible, however they cannot provide service without plowing the snow to the shoulders.  Sidewalks and gutters will continue to have snow, and as the weather warms, please be mindful of covered storm drains which allow the melting snow to enter the storm pipes.

Please continue to contact 911 in the event of an emergency.

How You Can Help

Storm Drain

There are four very important things you can do to help our community recover from recent snow events:

1. Uncover your meter box if you know where it is

2. Put your vehicles in your driveway if possible, if we're able to plow your street then this will make it easier to do so

3. Help us avoid flooding by uncovering storm drains in front of your house

4. Please remember that property owners are responsible for removing ice and snow from the sidewalks that are adjacent to their property.

Thank you so much for your assistance!

Waste Management Service Update

Juanita Beach Drop-Off

Waste Management was unable to provide service this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday due to weather and safety issues. They have worked with the City to provide two convenient drop-off locations for your household garbage and recyclables. Both drop-off locations will be available Wednesday, February 13 from 9am to 4pm. There is a strong possibility that a drop-off location will be available additional day(s) this week. Please check the Waste Management weather board for updates in the morning. 

The drop-off locations are at City Heritage Hall parking lot and at Juanita Beach Park (west parking lot). Drop-off material is limited to household garbage and recycle. Waste Management will accept up to twice as much material as you normally put in your cart. If you choose to NOT use a drop-off location, you may set out up to three times your usual amount of material on your next regular service day, at no additional charge.

For more information, or future updates, please go to

Juanita Drop-off LocationHeritage Park Drop-off Location

Take This Opportunity to Get Prepared

The events this past week have illustrated the importance of being prepared. The Washington Emergency Management Division advocates that cities, counties, businesses, neighborhood associations, families and individuals follow the recommendations outlined in “Two Weeks Ready,” an emergency preparedness campaign that suggests planning to be on your own for at least two weeks in the event of an emergency.

“Two Weeks Ready” advises that you build a kit that includes things like non-perishable food, sturdy shoes, extra batteries, a light source, can opener, hygiene items, cash, medications, and at least one gallon of water per family member per day. If your family is on a budget, collect items a little bit at a time, and remember that there are many ways to stretch your dollars.

Rather than buying new water bottles, consider storing water in food-grade reusable containers, like two-liter soda bottles. Start by collecting things that you might have on hand, like blankets, hats, canned foods, tarps and batteries, and focus on basic items that can serve multiple purposes. Plastic garbage bags can be used as rain gear or shelter, while Ziploc bags can be used as gloves or to keep things dry.

Those old work boots that you were planning to toss? Add them to your emergency kit, as foot injuries are common during critical incidents.    

And don’t forget your pets! Increase your stored water to accommodate your four-legged family members, and if your pet has a medical condition requiring medication, check in with your veterinary professional to obtain an extra prescription to store in case of an emergency.

For more information on “Two Weeks Ready” please visit:

To view the “Two Weeks Ready” preparedness brochure, visit:

Two Weeks Ready

Upcoming Events



Kirkland Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course

Class will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. starting March 6 and running through May 4.

Learn about personal preparedness, light search and rescue, fire suppression, disaster first aid and much more. This hands-on course is informative and fun. Students will attend 8 weeks of instruction including a final Saturday simulation drill; attendance at all sessions is required for graduation.  The course fee is $35 for Kirkland residents and $50 for non-residents. For all the details, and to register, go to