PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Stretches of both Interstate 84 and US Route 26 were closed for hours for most of Monday due to “hazardous” winter weather, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
At 11 p.m. Monday, ODOT announced I-84 is now open in both directions from Troutdale to The Dalles (milepost 17 to 82) following a 19 hour closure. But US 26 remains closed 2 miles east of Welches to the Wasco-Jefferson County line near Warm Springs (milepost 42.5 to 96) due to multiple crashes and spun-out vehicles.
There’s a Winter Weather Alert for additional snow and ice along I-84 through Tuesday, while a Winter Storm Warning continues for the upper Hood River Valley region.
More than a 60 mile stretch of I-84 is closed from milepost 17 to milepost 82.
Meanwhile, US 26 is closed in both directions starting near Rhododendron all the way to Highway 35. Highway 35 is also closed from US 26 north to the Hood River County line.
According to the ODOT, these closures are due to high winds, blowing snow and poor visibility. White-out conditions have led to several crashes on I-84, the department said.
“Dangerous winter driving conditions can be found in many areas around Mount Hood and in the Columbia River Gorge with Int6erstate 84 closed from Troutdale to The Dalles,” ODOT said in a release. “Travelers should stay off the roads if possible and use extreme caution if they have to travel.”
Officials shut down SR 14 to all vehicles between Washougal and White Salmon. A disabled semi-truck has blocked both lanes of the highway at milepost 48 near Carson Depot Road,
Additionally, OR 245, OR 204, OR 11, OR 74, OR 331, OR 332, OR 334, OR 335, OR 350, OR 351 and OR 339 are all closed.
“Conditions are so extreme that snowplow drivers cannot see the road well enough to effectively plow snow,” according to ODOT.
Those high winds, snowdrifts and low visibility are all preventing crews from maintaining the roads.
“Don’t expect emergency response crews to rescue you if you drive on closed roadways,” ODOT said after many drivers became stranded on closed roadways.
Officials urged drivers in Umatilla County to stay off the roads, while several schools in the area have announced delays and closures for Monday.
In a Twitter post, Portland’s National Weather Service reported nearly 8 inches of snow has accumulated in the Gorge since 2 a.m. on Monday.
ODOT advised drivers should “expect a lengthy closure,” and some closures may remain for several days with conditions expected to get worse throughout the day.