Officials warn ‘roads are sheets of ice’ around the region

Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Another round of snowfall blanketed areas of Oregon and Washington Monday night along with a temperature dip leading to icy roadways.

The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a Winter Weather Advisory until Wednesday at 10 a.m. PBOT officials also anticipate black ice for Tuesday morning’s commute.

“The not-so-good news is we’re going to see more snow tonight and it’s getting cold out there in places — and that means black ice,” Shelley Snow of ODOT said.

Traffic is lighter than usual on Tuesday, and people are following weather warnings and staying home, according to ODOT. However, three roads have been closed in Portland as a result of icy conditions: NE Gilham Avenue between E Burnside and NE Davis Street; SW McDonnell Terrace between SW Fairmount Boulevard and SW Council Crest Drive; SW 14th Avenue between SW Hall Street and SW Harrison Street; and SW 16th Avenue between SW Davenport Street and SW Hall Street.

A KOIN 6 News crew was near Northeast Gilham Avenue and East Burnside — one of several steep residential hills PBOT closed overnight and into Tuesday for several hours because of the slick conditions. 

All of the roads are now back open and KOIN 6 News was told for the most part they didn’t have any major issues on the main roads. 

Crews have been working 24 hours since Christmas Day and will continue to do so as long as it’s needed. 

Overnight they put down 11,000 gallons of de-icer and 22 cubic yards of salt on the streets of Portland. 
While conditions were better during the day Tuesday, there’s always a concern it could get icy overnight.

“Our main roads and our snow and ice routes are generally functioning well, though we do want to make sure everyone is using caution when they’re traveling because they can be icy and there is still concern for black ice on the road because their temperatures are still low,” Hannah Schafer of PBOT said.

Multnomah County Transportation Spokesperson Mike Pullen explained “I would say compared to some past snow events, this one has been a milder one for impacts to our roads.”

In Multnomah County, outside of the Portland metro area, crews are also working around the clock and plan to until Thursday when temperatures are expected to warm up. 

They say compared to other snow storms we’ve had, this one hasn’t been too bad and said they’ve only had one road closure so far at 238th Drive in Wood Village. 

It’s a steep road that comes up from Interstate 84 and they’ve had to close it twice. The first closure was a couple of days ago for individual cars that spun out. The second time it closed was Tuesday morning for a semi that was stuck on a steep hill on Northeast 238th Drive in Wood Village after sliding on the roadway. The road was closed between Arata Road and Glisan Street.

Parts of Washington County are in snow zone mode. Areas requiring traction devices include a stretch of Cornell Road from Cedar Hills Boulevard to the Multnomah County Line, Barnes Road fro 118th Avenue to Multnomah County Line and 175th Avenue from Scholls Ferry Road to Rigert.

KOIN 6 news found out the reason Washington County had more weather-related accidents yesterday compared to Multnomah County is that the temperature was several degrees cooler – leading to more ice on the roads. Crews are busy sanding all day Tuesday — working around the clock.

Despite crews pre-treating main roads, Interstate 5 near Killingsworth had significant slush built up in the area early Tuesday morning. Officials say back roads and neighborhoods are areas of concern.

Latest road closures in Portland

Several lanes of Interstate 84 Southbound at 181st Avenue were blocked for nearly 45 minutes after a crash around 7:15 a.m.

An early morning crash blocked all but one lane on Interstate 205 Southbound on the Glenn Jackson Bridge. The area has since been cleared.

ODOT and PBOT both warn residential streets, along with steep roads are the most troublesome areas Tuesday morning.

“Any place that’s got a little elevation on it — that is going to be a trouble spot,” said Snow.

Trooper Will Finn posted on Twitter late Tuesday morning the Washington State Patrol has responded to 185 crashes in Southwest Washington since Dec. 26.

TriMet plans to run nearly all of its normal services today. Several bus lines will be chained up meaning service will be slower than usual, but still running.

Lines 18-Hillside, 51-Vista and 63-Washington Park/Arlington Heights are canceled until road conditions improve. Additionally, several bus lines have been detoured. MAX, WES and LIFT have not been impacted at this time.

An Oregon State Police trooper’s dashcam captured a semi-truck sliding off the road on U.S. 395 north of Lakeview around 9:45 a.m. Monday.

“There was no excessive traffic, the truck was not speeding, there were no high winds, it was just black ice,” OSP said in a Facebook post.

PBOT

ODOT TripCheck

Additionally, OSP also posted on Facebook warning drivers about winter weather after multiple crashes in the region “drive cautiously, slow down, leave extra room between you and other cars, and have chains or traction tires.”

Officials warn Oregonians to not make unnecessary trips during these wintry conditions, and to drive with tire socks or chains and keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.

“Those warming temperatures are helping us get those roads melted off a bit more,” said Schafer.

Crews have continued de-icing and treating roads across the state, minimizing some slick, and icy spots. However, officials still warn drivers should be careful and some areas may have black ice.

“It’s this real borderline condition where it’s very close to the freezing temperatures,” said David House from ODOT. “Some water is melted. Some is iced.”

Trimet – Winter Weather

On Monday night, Forest Grove Fire cautioned drivers that “roads are sheets of ice in areas,” after responding to serious crashes earlier.

ODOT and PBOT crews are continuing to plow snow, and salt and deice roads for safer travels.

“You got to be prepared for the conditions to change in an instance,” said House.

Several crashes happened Monday in Washington County — where temperatures were about five degrees colder than Portland. Conditions took a while to improve throughout the day, and in some places they never did.

“The anti-icer we would normally apply was not conducive given the weather conditions,” said Melissa De Lyser, Washington County Public Affairs Manager.

Lyser said the county was able to lay down sand, which they will continue doing if conditions continue to be wet.

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