As of Friday, November 20, 2015
Update: I-84 eastbound was opened from Troutdale to Hood River at about 12:30 p.m.
The eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 between Cascade Locks and Hood River reopened at roughly 8 a.m. The lanes had been closed through most of the night due to fallen trees and debris from a storm that hit the Gorge yesterday.
The portion of highway eastbound from Exit 17 at Troutdale to Exit 44 at Cascade Locks opened shortly after noon, an Oregon Department of Transportation official reported.
“We found a lot of trees and a lot of debris. We have people all over the place,” said ODOT public information officer Don Hamilton this morning.
Crews with shovels, plows and heavy machinery were pushing branches and fallen trees (which numbered about two dozen last night) to the sides of the road. Some of the stubborn logs required chainsaw crews.
Winds gusted at an estimated 70 mph in what Hamilton called a "nasty storm."
One tree struck an ODOT vehicle last night, prompting the work to continue into daylight hours for safety purposes.
Drivers were diverted to either U.S. 26 (which was briefly closed) and across the river to Washington State Route 14.
The diversion point at Exit 17 was chosen, Hamilton said, because it offers more room for trucks to maneuver as well as more hotel lodging opportunities than most exits between Troutdale and Cascade Locks.