PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With an ice storm warning in effect in parts of the Columbia River Gorge, the National Weather Service is telling driver to avoid any unnecessary travel.
The warning is active from Friday night until Saturday morning, and includes a stretch of the gorge from Corbett to North Bonneville and Stevenson. For anyone who must venture out into the areas under a severe weather warning, be sure to have chains or snow socks for your car tires.
Lance Johnson of Portland was among those who were traveling Friday. He said he was headed toward Cooper Spur.
“Got stuff in the car to make sure we’re safe,” said Johnson.
Snowflakes were falling on OR 35 in Hood River Friday evening. Signs were put up to warn drivers of the conditions. Some Hood River side streets were also blocked due to snow and ice.
With more wild winter weather expected to roll in, Hood River resident Rick Jones decided that walking home from work was the best option.
“I use these yak track devices and poles,” said Jones. “I just think it’s safer if I leave the car at home.”
In the Cascade Locks, the Oregon Department of Transportation Maintenance Yard was full of trucks rolling out. Spokesperson Don Hamilton said they’ve had crews on 12-hour shifts all week in the gorge and on Mt. Hood.
Although the total amount of ice is unclear at this time, the most impacted part will be from Multnomah Falls to Cascade Locks and Stevenson, according to the National Weather Service. There is also a potential for downed trees and power outages. The ice storm warning will be active from Friday at 10 p.m. until Saturday at 8 a.m., with the time of heaviest accumulation being between 1 and 6 a.m. Saturday.
“It’s pretty treacherous around here,” said Jones. “You have to really keep your head on a swivel.”
Meanwhile, the Hood River area is under a winter storm warning and the mountain passes have a winter weather advisory starting at midnight through Saturday afternoon. Travel is expected to be tough for those heading to the ski resorts through Saturday morning, but the best day to ski will be Sunday. That being said, the avalanche risk is currently at “considerable” levels through Saturday.