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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

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1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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ALERT: Prepare for snow this weekend and an icy commute early next week

January 13, 2012



Cheryl Kuck

Portland Bureau of Transportation


Winter Travel Advisory for MLK Jr. Holiday Weekend

Prepare for snow this weekend and an icy commute early next week

(Portland, Ore.) — A storm front is predicted to head into the Portland Metro area this weekend and early next week, with temperatures cold enough to result in rain/snow mix on the valley floor, with little or no accumulation below 500 feet and up to one inch above 500 feet. Although details are still uncertain, the City urges everyone to be prepared. The traveling public is advised to be alert for snow and ice on streets and sidewalks and limited visibility Sunday morning through Wednesday morning.

Landmark elevations at or above 1,000 feet in Portland include Council Crest at 1,073 feet, Mount Scott at 1,050 feet and the top of West Burnside at 950 feet. Elevations at or above 500 feet include the Sunset Highway/Sylvan exit, Mount Tabor, I-5 near Capitol Highway, Rocky Butte, Powell Butte, Washington Park, Kelly Butte, OHSU, and Barbur Transit Center. For more elevation information, view the Portland Plow Map at

The public is advised to make a plan now for their weekend travels and weekday commutes. People should avoid driving on icy, snowy, or slushy streets; take transit if at all possible; or delay their trip until conditions improve.

To be prepared and safe, essential equipment for everyone is a snow shovel, sand or de-icing granules, traction devices, a flashlight, and extra food and water. Have a package or two of de-icing granules ready for de-icing steps and sidewalks. Residents are encouraged to help family members and neighbors get supplies like food or medications before a storm hits thePortlandarea.

In conditions with snow, ice and frost, the traveling public is advised to be cautious, slow down, allow extra stopping distance, use headlights, and share the road responsibly. Motorists should make sure their vehicles are equipped with an emergency kit, chains, a full tank of gas, proper tire pressure, and transit schedules for their routes to and from work. Motorists driving in the hills or other chain zones should be ready to use chains if conditions are snowy or icy. Pedestrians and bicyclists should dress warmly and make sure they can be seen. Use lights, wear high visibility clothing, and be cautious crossing streets.

Transportation crews are monitoring conditions and continuing routine operations today to keep streets safe and clean. The City’s snow and ice fleet is serviced and ready to go, chains are repaired and ready for use, plows and sanders are cleaned, sand piles are stocked, and anti-icing chemicals are stocked.

Additional road crews will be assigned to after-hours operations Saturday night through Tuesday night in anticipation of colder temperatures. Crews will patrol designated routes, bridges, overpasses, and known trouble spots and treat as needed. With the current forecast, crews will likely focus on spraying major streets, bridges, and overpasses to keep ice from forming and snow from sticking.

The City recommends Portlanders monitor conditions where they are traveling, watch the forecast, and use as their source for winter storm updates. The site provides links to street closures, highway road conditions, transit schedules and service alerts, and other emergency information.