Local News

Snow drifts create hazardous driving conditions in Grant County

Snow drifts create hazardous driving...

GRANT COUNTY, Wash. - Heavy winds and blowing snow caused horrible driving conditions in Grant County through Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, with the Grant County Sheriff's Office telling drivers to avoid east and westbound roads within the county.

The Sheriff's Office advised people to stay off the roads unless they absolutely had to be on them, and said Wednesday morning's commute was impossible for some people, as they were blocked by three to five feet of snow and abandoned vehicles.

Grant County says deputies responded to more than 40 drivers stuck in drifting snow on county roads.

Dan Svilar has lived in Grant County for decades, and he's never seen conditions quite like Tuesday night's.

"This morning was a little bit unusual because we had so much wind and snow last night, blowing snow, that it was crazy," said Svilar.

"This is the first year that we've had that's been pretty significant blowing snow and drifting."

The Sheriff's Office said there were too many roads impacted to describe all of them. Many drivers who tried to drive overnight and into morning got stuck in snow drifts. Deputies spent hours checking on occupied and abandoned cars all over the county, bringing stranded motorists to safety.

And it wasn't just law enforcement. Dan started helping around six in the morning.

"And I've been going non stop since," he said.

Dan works at a nursery and spent the day bulldozing snow drifts and getting about a dozen stranded people to safety.

"I've hit drifts where I couldn't go anymore and I had to get a bucket load and back up and continue that until I could get through the drifts," he explained.

It was important to him to help get the nursery employees to work.

"They rely on the job and so I feel that it's our duty to get them in here safe because they don't like missing work," he said.

Area farmers helped around the county, too. The sheriff's office says the support was a big help.

"It's just the right thing to do," Svilar said.

Luckily, no one was hurt during the weather emergency.

Here's what happens next:

The Sheriff's Office says as of this afternoon. The county is now in the "recovery phase" and things are getting back to normal. They will plow the affected areas, mostly those east-west rural county roads. The Sheriff's Office is still asking drivers to avoid those roads, as plowing will take a while.