Photo by Mark Gibson
Icicles hang from the gutters of the Barlow Ranger Station in Dufur late Thursday afternoon. A weather system move through the region beginning Saturday could result in “significant snow and or ice accumulation” over much of central Oregon, according to the National Weather Service Pendleton Office. Mark B. Gibson photo
As of Friday, January 6, 2017
The Oregon Department of Transportation says Interstate 84 through the gorge could be closed if a winter weather advisory for “significant snow and/or ice accumulations” plays out as predicted.
“This forecast causes significant concern that our gorge transportation network, and travel to and from other parts of the state will be directly affected,” stated in a Friday press release from the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management.
According to the Pendleton office of the National Weather Service, snow will develop over Central Oregon Saturday morning and spread into northern Oregon and southern Washington by late afternoon.
This first wave of snow will bring 1 to 4 inches of accumulation. Following a brief lull in the weather Saturday evening, another round of heavier precipitation is expected to move through during the night.
Sunday morning will bring a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain. Precipitation should taper off by Sunday night for most locations, say meterologists.
Hood River Sheriff's Office of Emergency Management warns citizens, businesses, and travelers through the gorge to be aware of these key weather warnings:
• Continued extremely cold temperatures for the next four days.
• Increasing east winds at the surface through the gorge and down the Willamette Valley will keep temperatures bitterly cold and create wind chill.
• The severe cold could cause secondary problems like falling trees, power outages and freezing water pipes, as well as health safety hazards. Heavy ice on branches could cause them to break and fall.
Residents are encouraged to limit travel, keep an emergency kit in the car and at home, monitor water pipes, outdoor activities and animals, and prepare for power outages.