Seattle receives the most snow in 70 years, bitter cold temperatures expected

Some areas around Seattle received more than 10 inches of snow Saturday, the most in 70 years, the National Weather Service said, and more is on the way two more storm systems close in on the area. The National Weather Service said the first storm system is expected to arrive in the area Sunday night with light accumulation, and the second system will push through Monday and continue into Tuesday.

Meanwhile, cold temperatures are expected in the region overnight Saturday, with temperatures dropping to 15-20 degrees and the wind chill in the single digits.

The National Weather Service said some areas received up to 10.6 inches of snow, already making it the snowiest February since 1949, and the second snowiest February on record.

Nearly 8 inches of snow fell at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, where hundreds of flights were canceled, CBS News' Carter Evans reports. The storm obscured the famous Space Needle and left a blanket of snow over some very iconic locations, like Pike Place Market. Heavy snow did do some damage in Yosemite National Park, where they got up to two feet in some areas.

People sled at Gas Works Park after a large storm blanketed the city with snow on Sat., Feb. 9, 2019, in Seattle, Wash. Getty

In Tacoma, hundreds of people turned out for a snowball fight in a park after someone who lives nearby suggested it on Facebook. They took cover behind picnic tables and used sleds as shields.

"This is a perfect morning to bundle up and play in the snow, but stay off the roads if possible," Gov. Jay Inslee wrote on Twitter.

In central Washington, blowing snow and drifts 3 to 4 feet deep forced the closure of U.S. 2 and Interstate 90. The Grant County Sheriff's Office warned that snow drifts were blocking many roads. Airports in eastern Washington closed, and numerous car crashes were reported.

"Snow conditions are worsening minute to minute, so don't expect travel conditions to improve," the sheriff's office wrote.

The National Weather Service said additional snow could fall Saturday, and another storm was expected early next week.

About 180 people spent the night at an emergency shelter set up at Seattle Center, with officials going out again on Saturday to get other homeless residents to safety. Inslee declared a state of emergency over the storm. The state transportation department said crews had to clear several trees that had fallen across roads in the Tacoma area.

In Portland, a tanker truck slid into a sport-utility vehicle on an interchange between Interstates 5 and 84 on Saturday, blocking the ramp for hours.

Other parts of the country were also wrestling with difficult weather. Residents of Hawaii were bracing for coastal flooding amid extreme surf predictions. A California man died in rough waters off of Maui on Friday, Hawaii News Now reported.

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.

Children sled on a hill in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood after a large storm blanketed the city with snow on Sat., Feb. 9, 2019, in Seattle. Getty

Another winter storm was on the way to the region.

In Yosemite National Park, as many as 50 housing structures near Half Dome Village were damaged by trees toppled during a snowstorm earlier this week, displacing more than 160 employees who provide food, lodging and other services for visitors.

Elsewhere, more than 148,000 customers lost power in Michigan following days of freezing rain. The Consumers Energy utility said power would be restored by late Sunday.

In Washington, about 50,000 people lost power. In Seattle, snowfall from Sunday and Monday lingered into the week as below-freezing temperatures gripped the area. A 59-year-old man died Thursday from exposure at a Seattle light rail station.

Residents in Portland and Seattle who are more accustomed to rain than snow waited in long lines to buy shovels and de-icer.

Autumn Sang was at a mobbed grocery store in Tualatin, Oregon, on Friday stocking up for the coming storm for herself and her neighbor, who is disabled and doesn't have a car.

Sang said she had never seen the store so crowded. She grew up in southern Oregon, where snow is more common, and wasn't fazed by the forecast.

"I love it. I'm excited about it," she said of the snow. "I think that Portlanders, most of them are city people and they come from a lot of different places, so they're not so used to it. It's like, 'Use your brain! If you don't have to go out, don't go out.'"

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