Submitted by the San Juan County Department of Emergency Management
There’s snow and more cold weather in the forecast. This weather pattern is similar to what the islands last saw in 2008: extended cold, the possibility of multiple snow events, and intermittent high winds.
This is just a forecast, so we might end up with no snow, we might end with more snow, and there will likely be a wide range of impacts across the San Juans. In 2008, some islanders ended up needing to stay at home for a number of days due to impassable roads. We also had challenges with pipes that froze during power outages in unoccupied homes, causing considerable water damage with the eventual thaw.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association is forecasting a winter storm to strike the region beginning tomorrow, capable of dropping 4 to 8 inches of snow in the islands. The storm is expected to bring high winds as well. Regardless of how the weather unfolds, this is a great opportunity to be prepared just in case, and to remind everyone to let common sense be your guide if the snow starts to fall:
If it’s storming out and there’s snow on the roads, stay home if at all possible. Give the hard-working road crews a chance to do their jobs.
Be prepared for being stuck at home for up to a week or so, and be ready for extended power outages. This is just basic island living 101. This is doubly true for those living on hills, at higher elevations, and far from town.
Keep an eye on neighbors, family, and friends who might need an extra hand. Taking care of each other is the island way.
Don’t call 911 to report power outages or check on road conditions. The OPALCO crews are amazing and will be out working at the first sign of an outage. Refresh yourself on how to report or stay updated on outages at https://www.opalco.com/outages/.
And if you want more info about preventing frozen pipes, generator safety, or general winter weather preparedness, visit www.sanjuandem.net/winter.