Winter Snow Storm Wallops Pacific Northwest; Washington Declares State of Emergency

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Winter Snow Storm Wallops Pacific Northwest; Washington Declares State of Emergency

Almost 20 million people in the Northwest are under storm alerts Saturday morning as one to two more inches of snow are expected to fall in Seattle, according to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink.

Early in the day Friday there are just flurries expected north of Seattle so the morning commute would likely be uninterrupted for most people. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency Friday as the region braces for whiteout conditions, whipping winds and frigid air.

People sled at Gas Works Park after a large storm blanketed the city with snow on February 9, 2019 in Seattle, Washington.

A warning to travelers in Owyhee County and southern Twin Falls County: On Saturday night and Sunday morning, wind gusts of 20 to 35 miles per hour could cause blowing snow and affect visibility, forecasters say.

In California, more than 120 visitors and staff members were rescued Thursday after being trapped by up to 7 feet of snow in a Sierra Nevada resort for five days.

The region, more used to rain than extreme wintry conditions, has been hit by a series of wintry storm systems.

Snow totals ranged from 6-10 inches in the area, including 7.9 inches of snowfall recorded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, as the storm dumped heavy snow along the coast of Washington and OR since Friday afternoon.

The system will move in and out quickly, and it's followed by a much stronger system that will likely bring even more snow Monday night into Tuesday, forecasters say.

"Travel could be very hard to impossible", the Weather Service said. As many as 50 housing structures were damaged near Yosemite National Park by toppled trees during a snowstorm.

Elsewhere, more than 148,000 customers lost power in MI following days of freezing rain.

In Washington, about 50,000 people lost power. She wasn't fazed by the forecast of more snow on its way. A 59-year-old man died Thursday from exposure at a Seattle light rail station.

In Tualatin, Ore., resident Autumn Sang was mobbed during a visit to a grocery store to stock up on supplies.

"I love it. I'm excited about it", she said of the snow. After that, forecasters will be focused on a "quick, nearly clipper like system" that will likely bring more snow. "If you don't have to go out, don't go out'".

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