Nightly News   |  January 18, 2012

Snow day in the Pacific Northwest

It may not have been the disaster some were predicting, but the winter storm shut down much of the region. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back in this country the winter storm that hit seattle was not the apocalyptic disaster some were predicting and fearing but for that part of the country five inches of snow in one shot is a lot. our report from nbc's miguel almaguer.

>> oh, yeah!

>> reporter: across washington state a good day to stay home. streets became neighborhood playgrounds.

>> look at all of this stuff and it's still snowing right now.

>> reporter: in olympia, the state capital some found new ways to get to work. downtown seattle where nearly a year's worth of snow fell in a single day, most streets were deserted.

>> i came from chicago and we experience heavier snow than here, but everyone is having problems driving.

>> reporter: five inches paralyzing a community used to rain. sights like these are rare. snowmobiles in the streets, smartcars wearing chains. the winter blast left many hillside roads closed, schools shut down and airlines canceled flights.

>> we're ready to go home. i'm crossing my fingers and ohoping for the best.

>> reporter: his bernard panda.

>> if i get stuck i hook him up and let him pull me out.

>> reporter: passes were shut down because of avalanche danger, a storm on the move.

>> it's going to shift to the south and give northern california , utah and colorado some much needed snowfall. they haven't had a good storm like this since november.

>> reporter: already in oregon, rain turned to slush and hammered portland while along the coast, hurricane-force wind gusts knocked out power to 30,000. brian the good news, snow in seattle is expected to turn to rain. they're used to that in these parts. the bad news it's headed in your direction, first chicago then the northeast.

>> first you get inside miguel. thanks for that. a wad nigbad night in seattle .