By Bob Smith
Kitsap News Group
PORT ORCHARD — While South Kitsap has been hit by snow-laden storms in past winters, the weather system on Feb. 5 and 6 generated enough heavy, wet snow in just the right amounts to create more than the usual havoc for city, county and utility crews working to keep roadways open.
As of Feb. 9, Kitsap County public works department reported that Feigley Road in the southern part of the county remained closed, due mainly to downed trees and utility lines brought down by the trees. SW Lake Flora, SW Lider, SE Mullenix and North SE streets have reopened to traffic.
Extensive damage to trees on public and private property has been reported to public agencies through 911 and PSE communication outlets.
Snowfall of up to six inches from the storm Feb. 5-6 taxed the city of Port Orchard’s resources — and snarled traffic for motorists.
“The snow management and follow-up ice management was problematic enough,” said Mark Dorsey, city public works director, “but the downed trees — primarily alder — at Port Orchard Boulevard and the SR16 eastbound on-ramp at Tremont-Clifton and Old Clifton westbound to the Juvenile Detention Facility, forced the city and state to close those sections of road.”
Doug Bear, county public information director, said that while the snowstorm was similar to others experienced in the county over the years, its effect was primarily felt in South Kitsap.
Bear said Puget Sound Energy bore the brunt of the work restoring power to the area.
Christina Donegan, spokeswoman for PSE, said repair crews were working to restore service in thousands of customers.
As of Feb. 7, more than 5,000 outages were reported in Kitsap County, with the majority of those in South Kitsap.
“That was our hardest hit area along with North King County,” Donegan said. “It’s important to note that this storm is a bit different.
“There’s a lot of damage to distribution and service lines — these are the power poles and lines that serve neighborhoods and lead to individual homes and properties.
“Crews and field teams have to make repairs at each of these sites and power is often restored to only a small group of customers at a time. This makes the restoration process much slower.”