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State troopers respond to 39 crashes related to snow; trooper’s car hit but no injuries

March 12, 2019 GMT

Washington State Patrol troopers have responded to 39 crashes since 5 a.m. caused by icy roads from an overnight storm, most of them were single-car slide-offs, WSP spokesman Jeff Sevigney said.

Sevigney’s patrol car accounts for one of those crashes.

Sevigney was putting down flares for crash 6 miles south of Spokane Valley at the intersection of State Route 27 and Palouse Highway on Tuesday morning.

“The roadway conditions were pretty icy,” he said.

A car lost control and sideswiped his patrol car. Sevigney was standing outside of the car and no one was injured, he said, and his car had minor damage, mostly to a taillight and rear fender.

The driver who hit his car wasn’t cited, Sevigney said.

The snowstorm didn’t have a major impact on Tuesday morning’s commute in Spokane.

Traffic cameras showed highways mostly wet and not covered with snow from 7:30 a.m. onward. It was the same for Interstate 90, which showed no sticking snow on the roadway.

Weather on Tuesday

Temperatures were slightly warmer than expected in lower elevations in the Spokane region overnight, causing snow to be wetter and not to accumulate as quickly, said Steven Van Horn, National Weather Service meteorologist.

Spokane got about 2 inches of snow as of 1:30 p.m., and light snow showers will bring less than a half-inch more before midnight, said Amanda Young, NWS meteorologist .

“We still have some shower activities,” she said. “We’re expecting light snow showers in the area.”

In the surrounding areas, some school districts reported delays and closures. Moses Lake School District and Lake Pend Oreille School District both closed because of snow, while Colville and Lind-Rtizville Schools both delayed start of classes two hours. A full list of closures can be found here.

Monday was the 37th day in a row with below-normal temperatures in Spokane.

The snow depth for this late in the season currently sits at the second-highest amount on record at 13 inches, according to Young. If the snow accumulates to 16 inches without melting, it will tie the record from 1969, but NWS will wait until midnight to confirm it, Young said.

“We’ll have to see tomorrow,” she said.