Road crews with the Oregon Department of Transportation are working around the clock to clear mountain passes in the Cascades. That’s after a large snowstorm stranded a number of semi-trucks and created dangerous conditions for motorists.
The National Weather Service in Portland predicted accumulations of up to two feet in some places. That, combined with the likelihood of strong winds, prompted the agency to warn drivers to keep off the mountain roads.
Meteorologist Tiffani Brown says that warning is now expired.
“The conditions for driving still may be hazardous but the snow, heavy snow and falling snow and blowing snow conditions are over,” Brown says.
“We’ve been really throwing everything we’ve got up there at the mountain passes over the last day at this heavy storm,” says Don Hamilton, a spokesman with ODOT “We’ve been throwing our big snow blowers. We’ve had the big snow plows out. We’ve had graders out. We’ve been sanding. We’ve had an awful lot of snow up there in the mountains and we’re doing everything we can to try to make the roads safe.”
Hamilton says drivers can do their part by being extra careful while heading over the passes. Hamilton says not only should drivers carry chains but they should also know how and when to use them.
“There are still a lot of snowy spots going up over the passes and motorists need to be especially careful, and get those chains on when the conditions are such,” he says.
Meteorologist Tiffani Brown says the National Weather Service is tracking another storm that’s expected to hit the Cascades later this evening. That storm is tracking farther north, but Brown says the region could see more snowfall as a result.