PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Thousands were without power Wednesday morning after a surprising snow storm dumped a foot of snow in the Portland area.
The snow also brought down trees and limbs that had survived an ice storm just last weekend.
Portland General Electric reported about 30,000 customers without power. Check here for the latest
Pacific Power reports large outages in Southern Oregon but none locally. Clark Public Utilities reported about 800 customers without power.
Snow began sticking in Portland at around 5 p.m. Tuesday and will continue to fall overnight well into this morning.
The snow will taper off late Wednesday morning but most areas will see accumulation when they wake up, which could make the morning commute difficult.
Following the snow, Thursday and Friday will be dry and sunny but chilly with highs around freezing.
Zaffino said he doesn’t expect snow in the Portland area to melt until Saturday.
“I don’t really see the temperatures climbing much above freezing over the next several days,” he said.
While the early evening commute mostly went by without a hitch, traffic was at a gridlock on many roads after 8 p.m. Southbound I-5 was at a standstill for times. Cars were once again stuck on Highway 26, much like they were during a snow storm this past December.
TriMet has stopped some bus lines while others are on delays. They advise checking your route before heading out. Click here for TriMet alerts
Many schools, including Portland Public Schools, are closed on Wednesday.
Following that December snow storm, the Oregon Department of Transportation said it would consider using salt on Portland area highways.
When it snowed last Saturday, ODOT used salt for the first time on Highway 26. Crews will use it again, if needed, but right now say they still don’t have access the salt, or a place to store it.
“We’re working on storage. We are working on the truck dispersal of it, and we are working on what level of intensity do you distribute the salt. We are not going to spread it everywhere willy-nilly, that’s a bad idea. But we are going to continue to use it, and will find our opportunities, very controlled, surgical and tactical,” said ODOT Spokesperson Don Hamilton.