Officials to Portland residents: stay home

Freezing rain coats tree limbs in the Portland area, Feb. 8, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Freezing rain coats tree limbs in the Portland area, Feb. 8, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With an Ice Storm Warning in effect, Portland metro residents are urged to stay home and stay off the streets.

The Ice Storm Warning is in effect until 10 p.m. Sunday and covers a stretch of more than 100 miles.

“Snow is bad. But ice is worse,” said Miles Higa, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Thousands of people are without power throughout Oregon, although most of the Portland metro area is not affected. PGE has the latest totals on their website.

As the storm continues to wreak havoc in the region, Portland Fire & Rescue shuttled endangered people to shelters. It continues an effort from Friday night that took 53 people out of the cold and into a warm shelter.

Some were homeless, officials said, and some had become stranded.

People who need non-emergency help should call 211.

OSP said they’ve dealt with more than 600 crashes since Thursday morning and helped more than 900 motorists. Most of the people in the crashes suffered only minor injuries, but one woman died in a single-car crash on I-84 Friday.

Earlier Saturday, Clackamas County shut down an 11-mile stretch along Marmot Road between Barlow Trail Road and Ten Eyck Road due to 7 to 8 foot snowdrifts.

Some spots reported a total of more than a foot of snow through Friday.

The National Weather Service said the Portland area should expect another 4 to 8 inches of snow through Saturday night and the Columbia River Gorge might get more.

More than 3,000 people in the Portland region were without power Saturday morning, but most had the lights back before noon. Farther south, The Register-Guard newspaper reported that downed trees have caused widespread outages in the rural communities near Eugene. The Springfield Utility Board, meanwhile, said 2,000 customers were without power, primarily in downtown and east Springfield.

Sunday appears to be a wintry mix in the morning, with sleet and freezing rain at times.

Clackamas County road crews closed an 11-mile stretch along Marmot Road between Barlow Trail Road and Ten Eyck Road due to 7 to 8 foot snowdrifts.

The Salem area is practically shut down.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team mobilized its Jeep Patrol to bring critical staff into work at Salem Hospital.

ODOT wants drivers to stay off the roads in the Willamette Valley, Coast, Coast Range and Cascade foothills for at least one more day to give crews time to work on the roads.

ODOT declared vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds must have chains or traction tires, and also reminded motorists — who may be getting more brave with the weather — that roads remain very slick.

Motorists should have chains, an emergency kit with blankets, water and a fully charged cell phone.

The Oregon Zoo is closed on Saturday and Sunday. All Portland Parks & Recreation community centers and pools are closed both Saturday and Sunday.

The Portland Art Museum is also closed on Saturday.

Most Washington County facilities are closed Saturday.

Many roads and side streets in the Portland area are closed because of slick road conditions.

Road crews throughout all of Oregon and the Vancouver area are on duty working to clear the roads. However, officials said commuters should expect to be impacted on Monday morning.

Stay with KOIN 6 News for all your latest weather information plus closings and delays.

–The Associated Press contributed to this report–

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