PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As Oregon braced for its first signs of winter on Wednesday, some regions were hit harder than others.
A winter storm warning is in effect for areas near the Columbia River Gorge.
Much of the state was drenched by heavy rains, but those in the Gorge woke up to snow-lined streets.
Despite snow rates slowing in the Gorge, KOIN 6 chief meteorologist Natasha Stenbock says it will not get warm enough to melt the snow that already fell.
“This is not the nightmare of winter storms,” said Don Hamilton, spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Transportation. “This is a November winter storm in Oregon. And I think we’re all used to this, and I hope we all know how to drive in this kind of weather.”
Even so, ODOT had crews out overnight and early Wednesday morning preparing roads. Hamilton says various winter tools, like snow plows and salt sheds, are readily available to crews working in the Gorge.
“The best winter maintenance tool that we’ve got is a little sunshine and daylight,” said Hamilton. “And that will do well if we can hit some good temperatures this morning. So I think we’re gonna be able to manage all of this today — I hope anyway.”
Region-wide, Hamilton says ODOT is pretty well prepared, however, if a powerful winter storm hits Oregon he warns there could be some trouble when it comes to manning snow plows. If a big winter storm does roll in, Hamilton says it “may take us a while to dig out.”
So far this season, ODOT says the workload hasn’t stretched their crews thin.
Watch the full interview with Don Hamilton in the video player above.