Winter officially starts today: some snow and ice rules to remember

CITY SNOW plow moves piles of frozen stuff during the thick of the storm last week in Hood River. Snow and ice on the freeways have caused crashes and incidents too numerous to list in the past two weeks. At one point on Monday afternoon, traffic backed up to a stop from Cascade Locks east to Hood River, and after a few hours, “it’s at about 10 miles an hour and even that seems too fast,” an Oregon State Trooper said.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
CITY SNOW plow moves piles of frozen stuff during the thick of the storm last week in Hood River. Snow and ice on the freeways have caused crashes and incidents too numerous to list in the past two weeks. At one point on Monday afternoon, traffic backed up to a stop from Cascade Locks east to Hood River, and after a few hours, “it’s at about 10 miles an hour and even that seems too fast,” an Oregon State Trooper said.



Snow and freezing temperatures bring dangerous travel conditions to highways in the Gorge.

photo

REAR-view mirror encrusted in snow: sometimes it is just best to stay home.

ODOT can close Interstate 84 in the Gorge when conditions became unsafe, or issue restrictions such as Monday’s chain or traction device requirement.

Travelers need to use caution and observe a few common-sense rules for navigating hazardous weather conditions:

• Get safely situated. Don’t wait until after a storm hits to get on the road. Get to your destination before conditions turn nasty and unsafe.

• Travel smart. Consider waiting until a storm passes to get on your bike or in your car, or work from home.

• Look out for each other. If you must drive, remember people walking or biking are harder to see in a storm. If you’re biking or walking, remember that cars don’t stop quickly on snow and ice.

• Leave early. It’s smart to allow plenty of time to get where you’re going. In severe weather, closures and crashes can cause long delays.

• Know before you go. Plan your route. Visit Tripcheck.com to look at ODOT cameras and check conditions.

• Don’t abandon your vehicle. It prevents ODOT from clearing the road and emergency services from getting to the people who need them.

• Watch for plows. ODOT sand trucks, plows and deicer trucks can’t clear roads clogged with traffic. The more traffic that stays off the road, the quicker roads can be treated. Stay at least three car lengths back. Everybody benefits the sooner they can get the road cleared.



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