PORT ORCHARD — Portions of Kitsap County are in the crosshairs for what could be a significant winter snowstorm projected to strike as early as Thursday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
Bremerton and eastern Kitsap County aren’t part of a winter storm watch the agency had issued yesterday, but areas in the pathway of the storm — South Kitsap and North Mason counties, including the South Sound portions of Pierce, Lewis and Thurston counties — could receive anywhere from a couple of inches to a half-foot of snow.
The weather service also indicated that areas near the foothills of the Olympic Mountains are likely to receive upwards of a foot of snow.
The predicted snowstorm is brewing as a result of a frigid Arctic weather front from Canada that is sweeping through the Puget Sound region and combining with typical February wet weather.
City of Port Orchard public works department vehicles and emergency equipment for South Kitsap Fire and Rescue are being prepared for the anticipated winter storm, as evidenced on Instagram with images of their vehicles’ tires being fitted with snow chains.
As a result of the winter snowstorm warning issued by NWS, Kitsap County has opened two of its severe weather shelters. David Rasmussen, the spokesman for the county’s Department of Emergency Management, said special measures are being taken at the shelters to prevent the spread of viruses, including COVID-19.
The shelters operate from 6 p.m. until 7 a.m. Guests cannot check into the shelter after 8 p.m., Rasmussen said.
The two shelters are at Gateway Fellowship, West Wing Building, 18901 8th Ave. NE in Poulsbo, and Port Orchard United Methodist Church, 725 Kitsap St., in Port Orchard.
Call 211 for information about the severe weather shelter program. Those needing transportation to the Poulsbo shelter can call 360-373-3000 for a ride before 7 p.m.
This story will be updated.