PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The first winter holiday of the season saw many people travel for Thanksgiving. But now that they’re heading home, drivers are getting a fresh reminder to keep the tire chains handy.
As the region braces for wintery weather and icy roads, tire and transportation experts urged residents to not wait to get your tires prepped. Having the proper gear in this weather could save lives.
Several customers got a head start on winter tire prep at the Portland Tire Shop off NE 82nd Avenue. Even on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the shop was busy.
But the booming business didn’t come as a surprise for Sales Manager Martin Ramos, who told KOIN 6 News the end of November is the recommended time to make sure tires have the tread needed to withstand the incoming inclement weather.
“The tires keep you on the road, especially when it’s snowy. So it’s very important to have a different kind of tread on your tires,” Ramos said.
Others, like PBOT officials, agreed. Anyone driving in Portland needs to pay close attention to the weather forecasts before traveling, have snow chains in their car or traction tires on their vehicle.
PBOT Winter Weather Road Closures, Chain Advisories
PBOT also said they plan to “have extra crews working overnight on Sunday-Monday and Tuesday to apply de-icer to prevent snow or ice from sticking to pavement on bridges, overpasses and routes at higher elevation.”
Along with traction tires and chains, PBOT said it’s also important to know the weather conditions at certain elevations — not just where you start but where you’re planning to go.
Snow piles up in mountains
Though snow often creates treacherous conditions in the lower elevations of the Willamette Valley, the snow piles are a welcome sight for Mount Hood Meadows.
“So far we’ve had about 5 inches of new snow,” Mount Hood Meadows Vice President Dave Tragethon told KOIN 6 News early Sunday afternoon. “And if the storm delivers the way that it’s forecast tonight we will be opening on Tuesday morning at 9am.”
They’ll make a final decision sometime Monday.
But with a 20-inch snow depth already in their base area and more snow in the forecast, Tragethon said crews will work through the night to harvest snow and build ramps in preparation.
But Tragethon also said visitors to Mount Hood Meadows need to get their vehicles before traveling to the resort.
“Make sure you get your snow tires on or your chains, and that you know how to use them,” he said. “And if you’re coming up here expect that our roads are probably going to be snow packed and icy (requiring chains or adequate snow tires) for the next couple of weeks, probably all the way into Christmas based on the storms we see forecast.”