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Winter stops Seattle cold

Elaine Thompson / AP

A Seattle sled rider starts downhill after a push, Nov. 23, 2010, in Seattle's Gasworks Park. A snow storm struck the Pacific Northwest and other western states Monday night, dumping snow on roads, knocking out power to tens of thousands of people and causing a cargo plane to overshoot its runway in Seattle. At least three deaths in Washington State have been blamed on the storm, including a man struck and killed outside his car Monday night on snowy Interstate 5 in Tacoma.

I’d bet many people around the country are surprised when they hear that 2.7 inches of snow can shut down large parts of Seattle and its surrounding communities. Sometimes I am too. It’s one of the main reasons why I’m reluctant to sell my old 4WD pickup.

I believe the problem has something to do with the fact that Seattle rarely gets prolonged periods of snow and ice. That prevents drivers from having to learn how to drive on slick roads. I witnessed multiple crashes last night that happened simply because drivers were going too fast. Many Seattle drivers just don’t realize how much momentum a moving vehicle possesses.