Snow, wind wallop Pacific Northwest

By Rachel La Corte

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 19 2012 4:41 a.m. MST

Some state employees drove into work, but others walked in, and at least one employee was seen cross-country skiing to the campus. The 60-day legislative session began Jan. 9.

In Tacoma, which had about 7 inches of snow for the morning rush hour, a kilt-clad, barelegged Charles Hetrick frolicked with his dog in a park.

"I've worn nothing but kilts for the last six years, so I didn't even think about it when I put it on this morning," Hetrick said.

In Seattle, a fleet of 30 plows, de-icing trucks and graders was deployed to remove snow from main city streets. It had stopped snowing in Seattle by Wednesday afternoon, but several inches of snow remained.

Hundreds of people careened down Queen Anne Hill, one of Seattle's steepest, on skis, sleds and laundry baskets — narrowly missing cars that crossed the intersection at the bottom.

Jake Munson, an 18-year-old student at the Art Institute of Seattle, joined two friends in sliding down on an air mattress covered with a clear plastic bag.

"I've done the whole tubing thing, but I had more fun doing this," he said. "It's way faster and riskier. There's fear — you don't want to run into a pole or something."

Associated Press writers Doug Esser and Gene Johnson in Seattle, Ted Warren in Tacoma, Wash., and Jonathan J. Cooper in Portland, Ore., contributed to this report.

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