Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
LIEUT. Paul Henke of Hood River Fire Department shovels paths to fire hydrants downtown on Saturday. “Any help from homeowners and businesses in clearing the hydrants is really appreciated,” Henke said.
As of Tuesday, January 17, 2017
A serious freezing rain event is on the way, emergency officials say. Ice accumulations could reach an inch.
Light rain will begin on Tuesday, picking up at heavier levels in the evening, and continuing into Wednesday afternoon, a Jan. 17 National Weather Service report said. Temperatures will slowly warm above freezing overnight.
Flooding is possible on a few rivers, and some city storm drains are likely to clog up with ice and debris.
A “devastating ice storm” is possible in the Gorge, Hood River County Emergency Manager Barb Ayers said, referring to the NWS report.
The rain and wind may cause downed trees and slides, Oregon Department of Transportation said in a news release. The Gorge may see especially difficult conditions, with freezing rain and wind. ODOT will close Interstate 84 if the road is unsafe.
ODOT recommends that drivers be prepared for conditions:
- The safest thing to do is stay off the road. Wait to travel if possible. If you must go, be prepared for dangerous conditions.
- Allow extra travel time and expect delays.
- Carry chains. You may need them. Chains have been required for travel in many areas already this winter and will be again if needed for safety.
- Have supplies in your vehicle. A slide or downed tree could have you stopped for hours. Be prepared with blankets, food, and water in your vehicle.
- Remember, driving on ice is never a safe choice.
“A freeze and quick thaw followed by heavy rain is always a recipe for debris slides. That could include trees, mud and rocks,” ODOT said.
ODOT has been working in recent years to reduce this threat by removing dangerous trees that could threaten the road, although storms may bring more trees down. Crews will be ready to respond.
For the latest information on road conditions, visit www.tripcheck.com.