Valley snowstorm nears record, clogs roads and closes schools throughout area

Snowy and slick roads in the Treasure Valley and beyond forced the closure of many schools in the area, including the Boise, West Ada and Nampa school districts.

More than 5 inches of snow fell Tuesday through Wednesday morning, and some areas, such as Hidden Springs, reportedly received much more than that. The National Weather Service expects the snow to continue beyond midnight Wednesday, with around 6 inches of accumulation through much of the Valley, including Boise, Caldwell, Emmett and Mountain Home. A winter storm warning is in effect.

Police agencies throughout the area report slide-offs, minor collisions and road conditions that should be avoided if possible. As of 11:30 a.m., the Ada County Sheriff’s Office reports 32 slide-offs, 50 vehicles stalled or stuck in the snow, and 14 crashes, three of which had injuries reported. Side roads clogged with snow have kept many vehicles from going anywhere, ACSO reports.

The Ada County Highway District has already spent more money on snow removal this season than the agency expected to budget for the entire winter. Highway district leaders just allocated an additional $500,000 for de-icing chemicals and salt. Officials said last week that the agency can’t make residential streets a priority, but after the new snow the agency now hopes to tackle priority school bus routes by Friday afternoon — and those could include some residential streets.

Traffic on highways and main travel routes was reportedly slow but lighter than normal for local rush hours, and Boise police advised people to push their commutes later to help avoid clogged roadways. Agencies throughout the Valley urged drivers to take it slow and be patient.

As of noon Wednesday, the National Weather Service measured 12 inches on the ground at the NWS office at the Boise Airport, up from 7 inches before the latest wave of snowstorms rolled in, meteorologist Jeanne Allen said.

"Our record is 13 inches on the ground, so we're going to be at it or maybe surpass it," Allen said. "We're still expecting more."

Snow showers had slowed down by late morning but are expected to continue throughout the day and evening Wednesday and into the early morning Thursday, she said.

And in case you're wondering how long Boise's ground has been snow-covered this year, Allen said there's been steady "measurable snow depth" since Dec. 15.

After the snow stops falling, it’s going to get cold. Very cold.

The temperature in Boise could reach -4 degrees on Friday and the outlying areas could get as cold as -10 degrees, according to Korri Anderson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boise. The mountain valleys could range from -10 to -20 degrees. The predicted low in Fairfield on Friday is -28.

Here is the latest information on school, road and other closures in the Treasure Valley Wednesday.

School and other closures

▪ Ada Community Library, all locations

▪ Ballet Idaho Academy and offices

▪ Boise School District. All afterschool activities canceled.

▪ College of Idaho

▪ College of Western Idaho

▪ Emmett School District

▪ Filer School District

▪ Garden City Public Library

▪ Gem Prep. Nampa

▪ Homedale School District

▪ Idaho State University Meridian Health Science Center

▪  iSucceed Virtual High School (canceled Wednesday open house)

▪  Jerome School District

▪ Kuna School District

▪ Marsing School District

▪ Middleton School District

▪ Minidoka School District

▪ Mountain Home schools (start delayed until 10 a.m.)

▪ Nampa School District

▪ Riverstone International

▪ Rose Hill Montessori

▪ Sage International Charter

▪ Turner Center for Family Development (Caldwell)

▪ University of Idaho, Boise

▪ Vallivue School District

▪ West Ada School District

Notes: Boise State University is expected to remain open. Get the latest updates here. Caldwell schools are still on Christmas break.

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Road information

▪ Check the Ada County Highway District cameras for current conditions.

▪ Check here for statewide road conditions.