State, WSDOT Claims It’s Ready for Snow Season in WA
As we head into another winter, drivers are wondering how the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will be able to handle the snow.
Despite El Nino forecast for mountains, could still get a lot of snow
According to KIRO Radio in Seattle, despite a slightly warmer (El Nino) forecast, it is likely there will still be periods of very heavy snowfall in the Cascades.
Will WSDOT be ready?
People have not forgotten the winter of 2021-22, when Governor Inslee's vax mandate resulted in hundreds of WSDOT workers being fired, they and the WSP bore the brunt of the mandate. At one point DOT was down nearly 200 snowplow drivers, and in late December, and early January of 2022, there were a few days when all the WA passes were closed.
The state was effectively cut in half, and part of it was due to a lack of plow drivers.
KIRO reports WSDOT officials say they will be ready, they've returned to nearly normal staffing levels and currently are only 'down' about 25 plow drivers. KIRO reports that WSDOT officials also put some of the responsibility on drivers, saying they need to be aware of conditions and know when to exercise caution and avoid traveling if conditions are very bad.
However, caution will not matter if the passes are not plowed and cannot be kept open.