Snow arrives in downtown Vancouver

Forecasts now call for 1 to 4 inches in lower elevations

By Eric Florip, Columbian transportation & environment reporter

Published:

 
photoSnow falls in Salmon Creek late Tuesday. Forecasts now call for 1 to 4 inches in low elevations of Clark County by Wednesday morning.

(/The Columbian)

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Winter weather Web chat

Concerned about your commute? If the snow falls and sticks around, causing Wednesday-morning headaches around the county, we’ll host a Web chat with Columbian weather blogger Steve Pierce and offer live coverage beginning about 6 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. If the snow falls, join the conversation at The Columbian.

A shot of wintry weather arrived in Clark County late Tuesday, prompting a series of warnings ahead of what could be messy morning travel conditions at high elevations.

At 10 p.m. Tuesday, snow was falling and sticking in downtown Vancouver. The National Weather Service then revised its forecast, calling for 1 to 4 inches in Vancouver. A forecaster said the temperature was near freezing, paving the way for snow.

Higher elevations could get significant accumulations as moisture collides with a cold air mass over the region.

In Clark County, C-Tran planned to have field supervisors out checking road conditions as early as 2 or 3 a.m., said public affairs director Scott Patterson. Officials will then decide how to alter routes or equip the bus fleet. That’s the agency’s normal protocol when there’s a threat of snowy weather, he said.

“Everybody kind of knows what their responsibilities are,” Patterson said. “We tend to play it pretty cautious.”

The Washington State Department of Transportation issued a statement of its own Tuesday, urging drivers to use caution and plan for hazardous conditions. Several inches of snow were expected to fall in the Seattle area.

Power outage

Wintry conditions did wreak some havoc in Clark County early Tuesday, though impacts stayed mostly well north of Vancouver.

Around 730 Clark Public Utilities customers were without power from 8 a.m. to noon near Amboy, after a tree fell on a power line early Tuesday, said Erica Erland, spokeswoman for the utility. A few other small outages were reported throughout the day, she said Tuesday afternoon, but otherwise things were “pretty quiet.”

However, on Tuesday night, the utility said 1,453 customers were out of power at nine locations. But by 10 p.m., the outage number was slightly more than 300, according to the utility.

Snowy road conditions also forced C-Tran to shut down a section of its No. 47 bus route between Battle Ground and Yacolt, Patterson said. No other routes in the system were significantly affected, he said.

As warmer temperatures move in Wednesday, look for rain — and lots of it — to drench Southwest Washington for the rest of this week.

About 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Green Mountain School District in far north Clark County announced school would be closed Wednesday, with no high school bus service.

Eric Florip: 360-735-4541; http://twitter.com/col_enviro;eric.florip@columbian.com.