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Storm Causes Treacherous Roads In Portland, Columbia Gorge


A driver runs around the front of his truck after a handful of semi trucks became entangled on an icy road just off Interstate 84 in Troutdale, Oregon, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.

A driver runs around the front of his truck after a handful of semi trucks became entangled on an icy road just off Interstate 84 in Troutdale, Oregon, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.

Don Ryan/AP

Freezing rain has caused many crashes in the Portland area, including a big wreck on Interstate 5 that took hours to untangle and an accident on Interstate 84 that sent a semi down an embankment.

No serious injuries resulted from the Friday morning crash on I-5 near Capitol Highway, but many cars and semis were involved. ODOT started reopening lanes before dawn.

In the I-84 crash, a Corbett Fire Department assistant chief says the semi went down a 50-foot embankment toward the Columbia River. Crews used a rope system to rescue the driver and passenger, who both had minor injuries.

The precipitation began early Friday, bringing snow to the Cascades and much of the Columbia River Gorge, and a sheet of ice to roads in the Portland metropolitan area.

The National Weather Service is warning people not to go out Friday morning, if they don’t have to. Meteorologist Colby Newman said more freezing rain is in the forecast.

“We actually have another round of freezing rain moving into pretty much the entire Willamette Valley. And it’s probably going to continue into the early afternoon hours (Friday).”

He said the Portland Metropolitan area will struggle to climb above freezing until later Friday afternoon or early evening.

Conditions are colder east of Portland towards Troutdale and Gresham.  Hood River has seen about a half inch of snow, more is in the forecast.

The conditions slowed buses, streetcars and light-rail trains. Some flights at Portland International Airport were delayed or canceled.

To see the latest school closures and delays, check here.

 

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