Snowstorm phases out, big thaw begins

A jackknifed semi-truck on Interstate 84 westbound in Troutdale. After the semi jackknifed, a box truck crashed into it. Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (KOIN 6 News)
A jackknifed semi-truck on Interstate 84 westbound in Troutdale. After the semi jackknifed, a box truck crashed into it. Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The storm that has blanketed Oregon for the past five days is set to finally come to a close Monday afternoon, as the thaw now begins.

A freezing rain advisory for the Portland metro area expired at noon. Temperatures hovered between 30 and 32 degrees, creating slick roads during the morning commute. Although roads were icy Monday morning, Portland saw no new accumulation of freezing rain. Temperatures will likely stay above freezing through the evening and then overnight Monday. A steady rainfall is forecast to continue throughout the week, which will wash away the ice and snow.

“Temperatures will continue to warm today ending our threat for frozen precipitation by late morning,” KOIN Meteorologist Riley O’Connor said.

In the Columbia River Gorge, snow showers mixed with freezing rain will extend through the afternoon and into the evening. Freezing temperatures are likely overnight Monday.

“Areas close to the Gorge could experience a delay in warming temperatures with the threat of freezing rain lasting through the evening,” O’Connor said.

After being shut down since Saturday evening, MAX lines were back up and running Monday.

Meanwhile, there were several morning spin-outs and collisions, although no reports of serious-injury crashes. Roadways in east Multnomah County — including Gresham, Troutdale, Sandy and Fairview — were experiencing the worst conditions. At about 7:30 a.m., a jackknifed semi-truck shut down Interstate 84 westbound at Northeast 238th Avenue. After the semi-truck jackknifed, a box truck crashed into it. No one was hurt. Marine Drive was closed between Northeast 223rd Avenue and 257th Drive due to ice. Gresham Transportation Operations Superintendent Rae Sorenson described conditions in the area of Interstate 84 and 181st Avenue as a “solid sheet of ice.

By Sunday afternoon, most school districts in the area had preemptively canceled classes for Monday. Some colleges — including the University of Portland, Clark College, and Lewis & Clark – were opening at noon. Some municipal offices and businesses were also on a delayed start to allow employees to avoid the icy roads during the morning commute. The Oregon Zoo announced via Twitter that it would be closed Monday.

Flights were running smoothly with few delays or cancellations out of Portland International Airport.

The Oregon State Capitol in Salem reopened at 8 a.m. Monday. The state House resumed normal operations, although several committee meetings were postponed until the afternoon to ensure legislators could make it safely in.

As of Monday morning, Portland International Airport had recorded 7 inches of snow so far this month. According to Steve Pierce with Northwest Weather consultants, that is the most February snowfall at the airport since 1989, when 8 inches fell at PDX.

For the latest KOIN weather forecast click here. For the latest road condition information visit TripCheck.com or call 511 or 800-977-ODOT. Click here for public transportation alerts. For broken or frozen water pipes call the Water Bureau hotline at 503-824-4874. For public safety non-emergency assistance call 503) 823-3333. To report a power outage call Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088 or Portland General Electric at 1-800-743-5002.

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