Snowfall slows business, shuts down schools in Marysville

Third Street in Marysville was mostly clear of snow and ice by Feb. 24, but much of its foot traffic was also absent. - Kirk Boxleitner
Third Street in Marysville was mostly clear of snow and ice by Feb. 24, but much of its foot traffic was also absent.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — A midweek snowfall seemed to affect work and school schedules more than traffic within the city of Marysville.

Third Street had little more than slush in its gutters and on its sidewalks by Feb. 24, but snow and ice still impacted employees of the street's businesses who drove in from out of town.

"Our staff from Darrington wasn't able to get in," said Mary Kirkland, owner of Hilton's Pharmacy. "They're not wimps, but they were digging themselves out of three feet of snow. Between our two employees from Lake Stevens, our other two from Arlington and our one person from Bothell, only three of our employees actually live within the city limits."

Kirkland herself stayed in town closer to her store on Feb. 23, after that day's snowfall discouraged her from trying to get her car back up the steep hill where her home is located. She estimated that her store received roughly the same numbers of customers on Feb. 23 and 24 as on most Wednesdays and Thursdays, just during slightly different times than usual.

"Typically, we get a steady stream of customers from 10 a.m. through the rest of the day," Kirkland said Feb. 24. "Yesterday, our business didn't pick up until about noon, once people realized that they could actually get out onto the streets, but it stayed pretty busy. People still need their medicines, but we've had some folks in here just browsing as well."

Oosterwyk's Dutch Bakery was closed on Feb. 24, but by the next day, not only was it open for business, but its staff was too busy taking orders to talk about the snowfall. Rick Mendenhall, who lives on Ash Avenue, had hoped to pick up a pie from the bakery during what became its day off. He considered the snowfall a minor inconvenience.

"It's a lot harder to walk around Marysville right now, so I have to drive some places," Mendenhall said Feb. 24. "I can get around in my car without any problems, though. The city's done a very good job on the streets."

Fellow Marysville residents Linda and Steve Peyton concurred with Mendenhall and Kirkland's positive assessments of the city of Marysville's response to snow and ice on the streets.

"The drivability has been great," said Steve Peyton, a Boeing employee who goes to work in Renton. "The worst conditions have been when I've tried to get out of the parking lot at my office. There's been more snow there than there has been here. The city has been excellent."

While Linda Peyton appreciated the lack of crowds at local stores when she went shopping on Feb. 24, the weather proved doubly difficult for her in spite of her home's proximity to downtown.

"My son is autistic, so the school closures are driving him up the wall," Linda Peyton said on Feb. 24, as she browsed through the aisles of Carr's Hardware. "He needs that daily consistency. I work with special needs kids, so I can't work right now. Darlene's store is awesome to shop at."

Darlene Scott, owner of Carr's Hardware, didn't think the snowfall had much impact on her foot traffic.

"We've made sure to have plenty of ice melter and de-icer, but it hasn't been as severe as the forecasts predicted," Scott said. "We've been very fortunate."

Marysville Public Works Director Kevin Nielsen reported that city street crews worked in three shifts for each 24-hour period to apply sand and anti-icing materials not only to key major and minor arterials, but also to bridge decks and intersections. City crews ultimately applied 100 tons of sand and melting agent, plus 300 gallons of anti-icing, while plowing and sanding 591 lane-miles of primary routes and 127 lane-miles of secondary routes. Crews also anti-iced 9.2 lane-miles of roads.

"Our schools didn't even need a late start today," Nielsen said Feb. 25.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department cancelled its Feb. 24 classes, while its solid waste crews and Waste Management suspended garbage and recycling pickup operations in the Marysville area. City solid waste crews will attempt to complete all garbage pickup Feb. 28 and March 1, but customers are also welcome to set out twice as much March 3.

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