Another round of wintry weather Wednesday played havoc with commuters and with public and commercial transportation, especially in Whatcom County north of Bellingham, officials said.
Several minor wrecks were reported to emergency dispatchers around Whatcom County, mostly on rural roads and in communities north of Bellingham. Three semi trucks jackknifed in separate incidents in the Lynden and Sumas areas. Many Whatcom County roads remain covered in compact snow and ice, which make driving treacherous.
Main roads were mostly clear in Bellingham, but side roads and residential streets were snow-covered and slick. City, county and state road crews have worked around the clock for the past six days to keep main roads passable, and drivers are urged to use caution, officials said.
Going was slow at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on northbound Interstate 5 near Bakerview Road, according to the Washington Department of Transportation online map. Bellingham Fire Department had responded to a collision there, an emergency radio dispatch said.
A wreck was blocking one lane of Guide Meridian southbound at Kelly Road, the WSDOT said at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
A wreck closed East Badger Road at Trapline Road about 4 p.m., WSDOT officials said.
Whatcom Transportation Authority tweeted that buses on many of its routes were running late or were detoured. Chains were being installed as snow began in early afternoon.
Route 512 to Sudden Valley was detoured, using Lake Whatcom Boulevard in both directions instead of Lake Louise Road on Wednesday afternoon, and Route 540 was detoured around Tweed Twenty. Earlier Wednesday, Route 401 was being detoured around South Hill. Route 71X to Everson, Nooksack and Sumas was late and detoured. Route 72X to Kendall was turning around at the East Whatcom Resource Center about 11 a.m.
A semi jackknifed across Highway 9 south of East Badger Road, blocking Highway 9 to Sumas for several hours early Wednesday, the Washington State Patrol tweeted. Both directions of Guide Meridian north of Main Street were closed late Wednesday morning by another jackknifed semi.
Another semi jackknifed and struck a guardrail shortly before noon on Guide Meridian near the Wiser Lake Road bridge and was blocking traffic, said Trooper Heather Axtman.
No injuries were reported in any of those incidents, Axtman said.
Sanitary Service Co. was telling customers to leave trash and recycling containers at the curb or alley after a weather-related missed pickup, and to brush snow and ice from the tops of containers. Drivers would continue to attempt pickups, SSC said on its website. If service is delayed until the next scheduled pick up, a reasonable amount of additional garbage or recycling will be taken at no extra charge
U.S. Postal Service carriers were making their appointed rounds, said Bellingham Postmaster Scott Manier.
“It’s had a minor impact,” Manier said. “Really, the snow means it just takes them longer.”
Manier asked residents to keep their walks clear for carriers and to shovel a path to roadside mailboxes on rural routes.