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The ice cometh - Bremerton buried, then frozen, in the year's first winter storm

Wesley Woolridge walks along Silverdale Way Monday afternoon. The 18-year-old Olympic College student, who said he always wears shorts, was walking three miles from the Kitsap Mall to his aunt
Wesley Woolridge walks along Silverdale Way Monday afternoon. The 18-year-old Olympic College student, who said he always wears shorts, was walking three miles from the Kitsap Mall to his aunt's house.
— image credit: Kristin Okinaka/staff photo

Bremerton roads became skating rinks Monday afternoon, but as temperatures dropped and snow piled up, commuters braving the conditions turned many roads into parking lots.

Officials recommend staying off the roads and the National Weather Service recommends finding alternative to electric heat if high winds cut out power.

The temperature in Illahee, East Bremerton, was 24 degrees as of about 5:50 p.m.

State Highway 3 remains a sheet of ice, despite regular state Department of Transportation plows.

The NW Waaga Way exit to Silverdale was backed up for miles, mostly due to about a dozen stalled or abandoned cars on the off-ramp.

The chaos that follows snow storms has firefighters, police and road and power crews busy. Reports of house fires, car crashes, entrapments, trees across roadways, elderly residents without power and in need of working medical equipment have public servants busy.

Some roads and highways are being shut down to stem further slides and crashes.

A winter storm warning will be in effect until 10 p.m. for the Kitsap Peninsula, when the snow is expected to end, according to the National Weather Service.

About two to six inches of snow is expected.

Northern winds are expected to increase to 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph, which could contribute to snow drifts.

Both the Bremerton and Central Kitsap school districts are expected to announce school closures or delayed start times in the morning.

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