Wednesday, April 17

Snow pulls trees onto busy roads, snarls traffic


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As many woke up to a rare April snowfall, downed trees and slick, icy roads impacted morning commutes across Oregon and Southwest Washington Monday morning.

The Oregon Department of Transportation said Highway 26 has been shut down in both directions between Highway 217 and Interstate 405. Crews are reportedly working to remove the multiple trees down in the area, however, ODOT said it’s unclear when the highway will reopen.

Commuters on Highway 26 Eastbound had already experienced a major slowdown near the exit for the Oregon Zoo due to a fallen tree. One lane had reopened around 7:30 a.m., but crews were forced shut it down once again.

With heavy, wet snow several trees have fallen across the region. Around 6:30 a.m. the Portland Bureau of Transportation was reporting six roads were closed due to downed trees. That number of road closures has since grown to at least ten in Portland.

A downed tree near the St. Johns Bridge has closed the roadway in both directions.

Over in West Linn, steep areas of Pimlico Drive and Hidden Springs are closed due to slippery conditions.

PBOT said the following streets are closed:

  • N Willamette at Hodge
  • SW 14th and Harrison
  • SW 18th and Columbia
  • NW Skyline Blvd is closed between West Burnside & Cornell
  • NW Germantown Road is closed between Skyline & Bridge Ave
  • NW Skyline Blvd is closed between Newberry & Germantown
  • NW 22nd and Glisan
  • NW 22nd and Flanders
  • NE Cleveland between Failing and Beech streets
  • SW Fairmount Blvd at Mt. Adams Drive
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Hannah Schafer from PBOT said the West Hills and the area near the Willamette River are experiencing the greatest problems.

Between half an inch and 2 inches of snow was expected for Monday morning around the metro area and nearby communities. Visibility is low for many areas around the metro area, while slushy snow lines the streets early Monday morning.

PBOT crews were out Sunday night preparing for the storm, but Schafer said crews weren’t able to pre-treat the roads they would have liked. “You know it’s tricky with these forecasts because we have rain in advance, which isn’t conducive to putting down anti-icer and we weren’t 100% sure what we were going to get overnight in the sky,” said Schafer.

An early morning crash has closed Cornelius Pass Road in both directions from NW Skyline Boulevard to Highway 30. ODOT said they expect the road to be closed all of Monday.

To report a downed tree or another roadway hazard in Portland visit pdxreporter.org or call 503-823-1700.

Meanwhile, traffic officials in Southwest Washington are asking drivers to delay their trips. The Washington State Department of Transportation said crews are out on the roads treating the icy conditions.

Crews have shut down Blandford Drive between MacArthur and Evergreen boulevards.

The Lewis and Clark Bridge is closed to commercial truck traffic until further notice.

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