Travel in the Northwest is Impeded by Freezing Rain and Snow

Freezing Rain and Snow: There has been severe disruption to travel in the Pacific Northwest due to heavy snow, freezing rain, and sleet, which has caused airline cancellations and delays and made driving conditions hazardous from Vancouver, Canada, down to Washington state and Oregon.

Travel in the Northwest is Impeded by Freezing Rain and Snow

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office reported on Tuesday that a semi-truck and an SUV had crashed on Interstate 84 in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge near Rooster Rock State Park, resulting in the death of one person. Police have mentioned that the thin coating of ice on the major roadway that winds its way through the Gorge may have been a role in the collision they are investigating.

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The Oregon Department of Transportation said that earlier in the day, around 47 miles (75.6 kilometers) of eastbound I-84 between Hood River and Troutdale was blocked due to collisions caused by ice. Even though all roads have reopened to the east, officials remind motorists to use care.

Drive Carefully

The agency issued a warning that U.S. 26 over Mount Hood was also experiencing significant delays due to heavy snowfall.

Two of Washington’s major highways were shut down on Tuesday due to the heavy snowfall in the Cascades.

Travel in the Northwest is Impeded by Freezing Rain and Snow
Travel in the Northwest is Impeded by Freezing Rain and Snow

The mountain pass of Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90 about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Seattle was closed due to multiple spinouts. The Washington State Department of Transportation said that owing to spinouts and incidents on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S.

Highway 2 over Stevens Pass, Highway 12 over White Pass, and Highway 97 over Blewett Pass were all blocked in both directions. Highway 2 and Highway 97 passes reopened Tuesday evening, with Snoqualmie Pass expected to open around 9 p.m.

Transportation authorities tweeted, “Be prepared for bad weather.” Crews are still clearing snow and dealing with further accidents.

The agency reported that plows had been sent to key roads around the region and that maintenance staff would be on the job overnight for the following several days.

After 5 p.m., Idaho’s transportation department tweeted that the snowfall and the number of damaged plows made it difficult to go anyplace in the northern portion of the state. Due to an accident, eastbound I-90 was shut down at Lookout Pass.

Snowfall Impacts Air travel

Officials at Vancouver’s YVR airport said the weather caused a “record amount of canceled flights,” and that cancellations and delays “will remain for the bulk of planned flights” while de-icing operations are required.

As of 6:35 p.m., online tracker FlightAware reported that 205 planes had been canceled and 386 were delayed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. At the beginning of the day, the airport announced that de-icing efforts will be underway.

Heavy snow fell in the regions north of Seattle. People in and around Bellingham, located around 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of the city, were seen clearing snow off their sidewalks and driveways, going sledding, and cross-country skiing after receiving up to a foot (30 cm) of snow.

The state of Oregon is bracing itself for the arctic blast that is expected later this week.

Multnomah County and its county seat, Portland, have declared a state of emergency beginning on Tuesday, according to a statement released by the county. The county will have more leeway in how it handles emergencies if a state of emergency is declared, officials said.

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Weather shelters

Four storm shelters, according to the county, will open at 8 p.m. on Wednesday and remain open for as long as necessary.

According to the National Weather Service in Portland, Thursday morning could see temperatures in the Portland region drop into the single digits with wind chill, and in and around the Gorge, they might even drop to near zero degrees Fahrenheit.

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