By The Chronicle
East Lewis County’s Cascade foothills are included in what was upgraded Thursday night to a winter storm warning from the National Weather Service predicting up to 30 inches of snow in heaviest-hit areas above 3,000 feet.
A storm watch was issued early Thursday and the forecast was upgraded to a storm warning Thursday evening. As of Friday morning, the warning had been extended through 10 a.m. Saturday.
Up to a few inches of fresh, wet snow was predicted Friday morning in East Lewis County, but the snow level was predicted to rise throughout the day from 500 feet above sea level to 2,000 feet.
According to the NWS, total snow accumulations of 6 to 18 inches are possible in areas above 2,000 feet and accumulations of 18 to 30 inches are predicted above 3,000-foot elevations.
“Light accumulations between 1 and 6 inches are possible between 1,000 and 2,000 feet,” according to the forecast.
Paradise at Mount Rainier was forecasted to get 8 to 12 inches of snow as of Friday morning.
Travel is expected to be impacted, with major mountain passes expecting feet of snow.
“The Northwest Avalanche Center expects dangerous to very dangerous avalanche conditions Friday and lingering through the weekend,” according to the NWS storm warning. “Check nwac.us for the latest avalanche forecast and conditions.”
Lewis County PUD General Manager Chris Roden said the utility is preparing to respond to possible snow-related outages in East Lewis County.
“Everything I see on what we track points to a good chance of snow in the east end,” he said.
Roden said residents should call 911 and the PUD if they see a power line down.
“First and foremost, never touch downed lines,” he said.
Contact information for the PUD and an outage map is available at www.lcpud.org/outages-safety/power-outages/.
“We’re now actively using twitter and facebook as well as our website and our up to date outage maps,” Roden noted. The PUD is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lewiscountypud/ and Twitter at @lewiscountypud.