Spring Arrives With More Snow
March 21, 2012, 3:10 pm
Spring has arrived with another blanket of March snow. The worst of the weather was down south. Several inches of snow in Eugene forced the University of Oregon to open late during finals week. It's one of a number of schools that altered their schedules due to overnight snowfall.
Officials urge drivers in the Willamette Valley and over the coastal passes to be extra cautious. There were several crashes on I-5 in Eugene and Springfield. Downed trees and power lines were a problem on other highways too. Silverton was coated with 7", 6" fell in Sweet Home, Eugene had 5-7" and Salem got 3".
Out east, an avalanche shut down the Mount Hood Highway north of Highway 26 for about an hour this afternoon. Mount Hood Meadows got over 2' of new snow, Timberline Lodge had nearly 2' and Government Camp got 21 inches. The storm could add another foot before Wednesday is over. It's a good start to spring for businesses that rely on skiers and snowboarders.
Highway 20 at Santiam Pass was closed by slides and 6'-deep snow, trapping some drivers in their vehicles for a couple of hours. The early spring storm dumped 15" of fresh snow on the pass overnight.
The storm is expected to heat east toward the Gorge, Cascades and Hood River Valley.