Snow Day for Coeur d'Alene!
Spokane - Coeur d'Alene - Most schools and school districts in the Spokane and Coeur d'Alene area are closed today due to the snow experienced between Wednesday and Thursday. A full list of closures and delays can be found here. The heavy snowstorm is expected to continue until at least 4PM Thursday afternoon with 15-22 inches of total snowfall expected.
Public officials are encouraging the public to stay home from work if at all possible due to the adverse driving conditions. At the time of this article there are several accidents reported, and dozens of drivers reporting in whose cars have been high-centered in the snow. Public transportation is running today, but experiencing major delays. Seventeen of the Spokane Transit Authority busses have reported that they are stuck in the snow. Delays of up to two hours are expected on their regular routes. Update: STA has closed most of their routes. Check the STA website for more information.
There are reports from North Idaho of up to 36 inches of new snow. The Spokane International airport reported that it had 16" of snow as of 4:00 AM Thursday. As of 8:30 AM Thursday the airport is open and has had one arrival. Update: Airport Departures are delayed, and many flights have been canceled. Check with your airline for more information. Departures Arrivals
Up to date pass and other travel information can be found on the Idaho Transportation Department and Washington Department of Transportation websites. Both sites are quite busy at this time, so there may be difficulty accessing them.
Currently all-wheel drive is required on area passes, and chains are recommended. Emergency officials continue to stress that no one should be traveling today unless it is an absolute necessity to do so.
EDIT 10:00 AM
With snow at 20 inches and often deeper, a spokesperson connected to the Kootenai County Sheriff's department said they are close to declaring this a disaster and instituting a state of emergency, at which point all roads would be closed until further notice.
An additional 6-8 inches of snow is expected by 4:00PM.
The record for most snow in a 24 hour period was set today with 19.4" of snow at the Spokane airport between 10:00 AM Wednesday and 10:00 AM Thursday. The previous record was 13" in 24 hours.
Coeur d'Alene's record for the most snow in a 24 hour period was also broken today. The previous record was set in 1955 with 16" of snow in 24 hours. The new record is 25 inches in 24 hours.