(SEATTLE) — Seattle residents are bracing for a snowstorm that is expected to leave a messy commute Wednesday morning.
Forecasters downgraded their initial predictions of at least 8 to 12 inches of snow to hit the Pacific Northwest city to about 4 to 7 inches of snow instead.
Typically, Seattle sees about 5.9 inches of snow in a year.
Either way, authorities on Tuesday prepared to deal with the snowstorm’s impact.
“We want to make sure we get the road network opened up so we can maintain critical services like health care. We can get people to dialysis,” said Grant Tietje, Seattle’s Emergency Operations Center.
Authorities are concerned over the accumulation of snow which could topple power lines and block roads.
Lawrence Eichhorn of the Seattle Department of Transportation said they’ll be working closely with other agencies to keep the roads open, “to make sure our resources are at the right place at the right time. And that’s really been a huge difference from previous snow response.”
Scott Sistek, a meteorologist for KOMONews.com said Tuesday that, “it doesn’t really matter if this storm is a record-breaker, it will have the same effect.”
“This is a city with a limited number of plows and a population that is not used to driving in the snow,” Sistek said.
The worst snowstorm the city has seen was in 1974 when 9.8 inches of the white stuff fell.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Angela Dewan and Euan McKirdy, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN
Brian Stelter and Tom Kludt, CNN
Steve Visser, CNN