In Seattle, there's no business like snow business

A lone man walks across the top span of the now defunct Alaskan Way Viaduct during a snowy day in Seattle, Feb. 4, 2019. Meanwhile, the $3.3 billion, 2-mile-long replacement tunnel opened as scheduled. (All photos by Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

Somewhere between Sunday’s sleepy Super Bowl and the opening of the State Route 99 tunnel Monday morning, a “chance of snow” morphed into a thick coat of white powder across Seattle.

And with it came the city’s perfunctory freakout. 

Schools closed, of course, as did community centers, some libraries and the municipal court for part of the day. Garbage collection halted in both Seattle and Tacoma and the Seattle City Council canceled its morning briefing.

Overconfident drivers unwisely tested the steep hills of Queen Anne and Capitol Hill. Scores of Seattleites lost power as well. And the city and King County both opened emergency shelters for the area’s homeless population.

And yet, for the apocalyptic fear that descends on the city with any hint of snow, so too does a sense of celebration. On Monday, for a city that rarely sees snow, an awful lot of school-age children (and some hooky-playing adults) scrounged up sleds and channeled their snowman-making skills for a day of fun.

This city may be petrified of the snow, but few others enjoy it as much as Seattle. — David Kroman 

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About the Authors & Contributors

Matt M. McKnight

Matt M. McKnight

Matt McKnight is formerly a visual journalist at Crosscut, where he covered a variety of political, social and environmental issues around the Pacific Northwest.