October 22, 2020

Deadly Pacific Northwest storm coats Seattle in ice

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In this photo provided by the Woodland Park Zoo, a grizzly bear shakes off snow in the Northern Trail exhibit Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 in Seattle. A winter storm blasted the Pacific Northwest Wednesday, dumping near-record snow in some areas, hammering parts of Oregon with winds as high as 110 mph and bringing much of the region to a standstill. (AP Photo/Woodland Park Zoo, Kirsten Pisto)

SEATTLE (AP) β€” A monster Pacific Northwest storm coated the Seattle area in a thick layer of ice Thursday and brought much of the state to a standstill, sending hundreds of cars spinning out of control, temporarily shutting down the airport and knocking down so many trees that members of the Washington State Patrol brought chain saws to work.

Oregon experienced torrential rain that swept away a car from a grocery store parking lot, killing a mother and her 1-year-old son. East of Seattle, a man was killed by a falling tree as he was backing an all-terrain vehicle out of a backyard shed, authorities said.

The snow, ice and heavy rains continued to wreak havoc in the region a day after the system brought a huge snowfall to parts of Washington state. The storm also raised worries that flooding could become a broader concern in days to come.

β€œIt’s like a storm in slow motion that keeps happening again and again,” said Puget Sound Energy spokesman Roger Thompson.

Amtrak suspended train service Thursday between Seattle and Portland, Ore. Officials in Spokane declared a snow emergency, banning parking along arterials and bus routes beginning Thursday evening. The City of Seattle asked people to get home before dark if possible, fearing even worse icing conditions by nightfall.

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