PBOT crews prepare for winter storm to hit Portland

Multnomah County

They are ready for 24-hour operations

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — City road crews are ready to tackle the snowfall in the Portland area. They believe it could hit the higher elevations Sunday night. The Portland Bureau of Transportation said they had crews on standby in case snow drops down into the valley as a winter storm moves our way.

With the possibility of precipitation, PBOT is focusing on the hills Sunday night. Spokesperson John Brady said they will be deciding on the routes to salt if conditions warrant it. They are keeping an eye on the West Hills, but also on Mount Scott on the east side.

“Be aware of both where you are and where you are traveling too, especially because there are going to be differences in elevations,” said Brady. “If you know you are going into the hills, you might want to give yourself extra time.”

PBOT installed signs at 500-foot and 1000-foot elevations in the hills so that drivers know where rain might start to transition into snow. The bureau will be doing 24-hour operations in 12-hour shifts, and are prepared to adjust those shifts if conditions warrant it.

In other areas of Oregon, drivers have already been dealing with hazardous road conditions this weekend. Truck driver Tory Tillman started out in Troutdale and made his way to Government Camp.

“We are really really excited and scared at the same time,” said Tillman. “Me and my co-driver are from Orlando, Florida, so this is the first storm we’ve actually been in.”

Tillman said the salt and sand crew came through for him on Mt. Hood.

“Got stuck at the bottom of the hill, but thanks to your great salt man, he pulled over and helped out, got out instead of sliding backwards,” said Tillman.

The two decided to stop at Government Camp for the night.

“We are going to wait ’til the morning when it’s a little more sunnier,” said Tillman. “Then we are going to gear up and try to make it over the hill and continue on our journey to Wisconsin.”

He told KOIN 6 News that he’d like to come back to ski sometime, but maybe on a calmer day.

“I just want to say Oregon is a beautiful place,” said Tillman. “One day, I’m going to come back on vacation, but not to stay.”

In preparation for the incoming storms, it’s a good idea for residents to make sure they have tire chains or socks in their cars so that they are ready for any kind of weather. Folks can also go to the city’s website to see where PBOT’s salt trucks are in real time and get information on road closures.

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