Parts of Oregon covered in new ice as residents wait for thaw

By OPB staff (OPB)
PORTLAND, Ore. Jan. 18, 2024 3:47 p.m. Updated: Jan. 19, 2024 3:33 p.m.

Temperatures warmed up Thursday in Western Oregon and Southwest Washington, but freezing rain arrived late in the day and left fresh ice in places that were still dealing with weather-related problems from earlier in the week.

Crews were still working to restore power to more than 100,000 customers in Oregon as of Friday morning, many in the southern Willamette Valley. KLCC reported that some Lane County utility customers could be without electricity for a week or more.

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A Trimet bus travels through the intersection of Northeast 74th Street and Fremont Avenue in Portland's Roseway neighborhood on Friday, Jan. 19. 2024.

A Trimet bus travels through the intersection of Northeast 74th Street and Fremont Avenue in Portland's Roseway neighborhood on Friday, Jan. 19. 2024.

Courtney Sherwood / OPB

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek has declared a statewide emergency due to the severe winter storms over the last week.

The declaration helps the state access federal support for response and recovery efforts. Several counties had already declared emergencies, as thousands have experienced power outages, tree damage, lack of transportation and other safety concerns since last Friday.

The sheet of ice that has formed across much of the region will be slow to melt.

Related: Early January storms bring much-needed snow to the Northwest – is it enough?

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The National Weather Service said the Portland metro area can expect patchy drizzle or freezing drizzle Friday and a high temperature near 37. It also will be be breezy, with an east northeast wind 16 to 18 mph and gusts as high as 31 mph.

An ice storm warning remains in effect in the western part of the Columbia River Gorge, with up to 4 inches of snow and a half-inch of ice possible through 10 a.m Friday.

With the region beset by winter storms all week, traffic was light on Macadam Avenue Southwest in Portland Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. An ice storm warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Friday in the metro region with patchy drizzle forecast for much of the day.

With the region beset by winter storms all week, traffic was light on Macadam Avenue Southwest in Portland Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. An ice storm warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Friday in the metro region with patchy drizzle forecast for much of the day.

Meagan Cuthill / OPB

In the greater Portland and Vancouver metro areas and along the Coast Range, a winter weather advisory lasts through 10 a.m. Friday. The National Weather Service warns the area could see about another quarter-inch of ice.

Related: Portland, Beaverton close schools Friday due to ice; Salem-Keizer open

Several Oregon school districts, including Portland Public Schools and Beaverton School District, announced Thursday evening that there would be no classes again on Friday. Salem-Keizer schools remained open.

Meanwhile, travelers saw some relief as Interstate 84 reopened between Troutdale and Hood River, with chains or traction tires required. The freeway remained closed Thursday morning between Pendleton and La Grande. The Oregon Department of Transportation would prefer that people to stay off the roads if possible until conditions improve.

Portland’s regional transit system, TriMet, is reporting progress on restoring service to some areas:

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