ZIGZAG, Ore. (KOIN) — The sheer amount of snow that fell so fast caused trouble for drivers in the Mount Hood corridor, closing Hwy 26 near Rhododendron to OR-35. Ski Bowl reported getting 8 inches of snow in 24 hours.

Jason Hornor, the chef at the Skyway Bar & Grill in Zigzag said the snow just kept falling and falling on Monday. He said there was bumper-to-bumper traffic for 4 solid hours Monday afternoon.

“We see some long lines of traffic, a lot in front of the Skyway, but this one was pretty bad,”
Hornor told KOIN 6 News. “It’s nasty. It’s like it’s trying to drive through wet sand almost.”

The Skyway Bar and Grill in Zigzag on a snowy night in the Mount Hood Corridor, January 3, 2022 (KOIN)

The wet snow led to slippery slush, which shut down Hwy 26 and forced many travelers to turn around.

“We had employees getting stuck on the road, stuck in their driveway. Their power was out this morning and Brightwood, along with not being able to get out of the driveway,” he said.

There was so much snow in Welches people skipped driving to the grocery store and opted to snow shoe there safely instead.

Countless truck drivers from near and far, like Chad Floid, are stuck sitting and waiting.

“It was good till Portland, then got to Troutdale and it was closed going to 84,” Floid said. “It’s gonna be closed for a couple days so we decided to come this way. Now this is closed down.”

If you plan to travel to or through the mountains in winter conditions, take some advice from people who do it for a living: give yourself time and be prepared.

Hornor said it was hectic and dangerous on Hwy 26 earlier Monday. There were drivers on the side of the road and even some in the center lane trying to put chains on.

His suggestion: Be proactive. Find better times and places to put chains on — for everyone’s safety.