Think Ice: Winter storm expected Wednesday; caution and planning recommended

Meteorologists have declared the 2015 Oregon drought all or partly relieved, depending on what part of the state you live in.

Now comes winter.

According to Hood River County Emergency Services Coordinator Barb Ayers, snow and ice are likely in the Gorge today. She said that, according to NOAA and National Weather Service, “We have heavy snow headed our way — on the Gorge floor — Wednesday night through Friday morning.”

As Ayers points out, “It may be very challenging for driving.”

Plan ahead to take care of needs involving travel — food supplies, extra batteries, or anything else you’ll need if the power goes out or the roads are hazardous.

Snow accumulations could range from eight to 18 inches above 500 feet. That is great news for skiers and snowboarders; anyone traveling to and from the mountain is urged to build in a little extra traveling time because traffic is likely to be heavy and road conditions … dicey.

Interstate 84 and Highway 14 both are predicted to be snow- and ice-covered, according to Ayers. Areas east of Viento State Park are likely to be impacted the hardest.

Ayers said that the storm should arrive Wednesday night or Thursday morning, possibly changing to a period of sleet or freezing rain before changing to “plain rain” Thursday afternoon or evening.

Oh, for that “plain rain.” Of course, that not-so-plain dousing we got in the past week still has its remnants.

Public works sweepers no sooner got done cleaning up gravel from the streets and pulling leaves and debris from storm drains when more rough weather is about to hit.

The new snow and pre-Christmas mountain season is some of the best news in months for all concerned in Hood River and the Gorge, but it comes with its complications. Public works and law enforcement stand ready to help, but patience and caution is a public service we can all do for each other.

See for weather-related updates.

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