MT HOOD, Ore. (KOIN) — Snow has fallen through most of Monday at higher elevations creating slick and hazardous driving conditions.
The Oregon Department of Transportation’s snowplows were hard at work along the state’s roadways. Along Highway 26 multiple cars got stuck in the snow and had to be pulled out. The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is warning drivers of the “harsh” traveling conditions up to Mt. Hood.
“Some of our deputies were up there yesterday telling me they were in white-out conditions,” said Sgt. Marcus Mendoza. “So we really want to stress to people, if you need to travel over the mountain pass—be prepared, do so with caution, slow down, think ahead.”
Mendoza cautioned residents, “if you don’t need to travel up the mountain, now is not the time to go.” Drivers should keep in mind that not only do they need to drive slow due to the conditions, but deputies will be slowed in their response to crashes for the same reason.
A combination of CCSO deputies and Oregon State Police Troopers cover the area since the Clackamas County line ends approximately 10 miles past Government Camp, near Frog Lake. Roadways beyond that point are under OSP jurisdiction, including Highway 26.
“But if you do need to travel, just keep in mind that cell phone reception can be spotty, that response from emergency vehicles is going to be a lot longer, and ODOT is out working hard with those snow plows, but they can only do so much at a time,” concluded Mendoza.
Among the safety tips Tigard Police offered online, the department also issued a warning to drivers—cars abandoned in the roadways will be ticketed.
“In prior years, drivers have left their cars blocking roads and freeways, creating unsafe road conditions for other travelers. These obstructions also make it difficult for the city’s snowplows to clear some streets.”
If you head up to higher elevations, make sure your car is packed with chains or is equipped with traction tires.
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