ODOT, PBOT use ‘dress rehearsal’ for winter coverage


Winter weather expected in parts of Oregon over next few days

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Winter weather has arrived in Oregon with snow in the higher elevations and threats of snow in the Willamette Valley.

Icy conditions prompted some school districts to start class late Tuesday morning, while on the roadway several crashes have been reported on interstates and major highways causing traffic delays.

West Hills resident Frankie Anderson explained that she won’t take chances on the roads up there if and when conditions are bad.

“If we have bad weather we just stay at home – we have enough provisions – we just hunker down and stay home,” Anderson said.

The KOIN 6 News weather team is forecasting 1 to 4 inches of snow in the West Hills where it also snowed a bit overnight.

“There was just a little bit on our lawn and there was a little bit on the neighborhood’s roofs,” Anderson said.

She’s not concerned about this weather event as long as it’s over by next week.

“We have been watching it, our only concern is that we can’t leave on Monday to visit our grandson in Norway, other than that we’re not concerned,” Anderson said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has trucks throughout the regions and is well prepared to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at Oregon.

“We’re getting ready to put deicer on the roads, but you don’t want to do that when it’s raining,” said ODOT’s Don Hamilton. “We’ve got deicer trucks on the roads looking for spots. These would be up in the West Hills, that’s where it would be cold and icy. But when they start deicing depends on the forecast.”

ODOT — TripCheck
PBOT — Winter Weather Basics

Hamilton said they also have sand for the roads and plows at the ready.

An ODOT Highway Maintenance sign, December 14, 2021 (KOIN)

“We’re well staffed right now for what we need. If we get hit with a major event of ice and snow, we’re gonna probably have to call in for some extra help from other maintenance crews around the state,” he told KOIN 6 News.

Even though ODOT is short staffed, Hamilton said they are in good shape at this moment. “If we get into more trouble we’ll ask for extra help from maintenance yards across the state.”

In Portland, John Brady with PBOT said this is “a nice kind of dress rehearsal” for what winter may bring in the coming months.

Brady said trucks were out last night salting roads in the west hills and they’ll be out again in the early morning hours before Wednesday’s workday commute – salting areas above 500 feet.

If you are planning on driving in those high elevation areas make sure your car is ready.

PBOT said to drive with chains on and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.

Trimet also tells KOIN 6 News that ice can impact Max and bus operations so keep an eye on your route before you leave.

Stay with KOIN 6 News for all the latest weather information.

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