Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Winter Storm Causes Pileups in Washington and Oregon

APOregonStorm

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Chilled and snow-battered residents of western Oregon and southwest Washington braced for a promised second punch from a rare and powerful snowstorm after the first installment dropped more than a foot of snow on parts of the Pacific Northwest.

Forecasters said a second low pressure system was expected to spread snow into northwest Oregon on Friday afternoon, possibly bringing another 6 to 12 inches of snow.

Adding to concerns about Friday's commute was freezing rain in the Eugene and Corvallis areas of the Willamette Valley and on the central Oregon coast, said Colby Neuman, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Portland.

Temperatures in the low 20s and teens were forecast early Friday, Neuman said.

Thursday's storm left one person dead in a massive Interstate 5 pileup in southwest Washington, caused multiple other wrecks and closed schools and offices.

Many school districts in the region canceled Friday's classes as well.

The snowstorm also caused a string of multiple car crashes on I-5 near Albany, Ore., essentially closing the highway there for five hours, the Oregon Transportation Department said.

The last back-to-back snow event like this in the region hit in December 2008, Neuman said.

The big I-5 pileup that killed one person and injured others occurred across the Columbia River in Washington state's Clark County.

At least half a dozen tractor-trailers were involved in the collision on the snow-covered freeway, The Columbian reported.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Steve Schatzel said several people were trapped in the wreckage. One suffered injuries described as critical and two others suffered serious injuries.

Oregon State Police Lt. Steve Mitchell described a 25-vehicle pileup on I-5 near Albany as "pure chaos."

Traffic backed up for miles. Only minor injuries were reported.

Oregon's largest city, Portland, recorded 3 ½ inches of snow by Thursday evening. Cars slipped and slid as commuters left work early. Some good-hearted residents helped push vehicles that got stuck.

A school bus slid on ice and collided with a car Thursday afternoon in Aloha, west of Portland. Firefighters said one of the children on the bus was taken to a hospital with knee pain.

Snowfall totals as of Thursday night included 13 inches in the small town of Vernonia, Ore., northwest of Portland, and 10 inches in St. Helens, north of Portland along the Columbia River. Snow also fell along the Oregon coast; the community of Wheeler got 9 inches.

In the Willamette Valley south of Portland, Corvallis got 9.3 inches and Albany reported 7 ½ inches.

In the Columbia River Gorge that divides Oregon from Washington, snow was accented by 30-40 mph winds that gusted to 60 mph, Neuman said.

In southwest Washington, Ridgefield got 9 inches of snow, Woodland got 7 and Longview got 5.

The storm struck quickly Thursday morning, dumping snow on the Albany region and then spreading north.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



RELATED ARTICLES

Several Injured as Tornadoes Hit Oklahoma, Arkansas

Severe weather strikes Midwest communities.

Several Injured as Tornadoes Hit Oklahoma, Arkansas

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The first batch of severe weather in this year's tornado season has devastated an Oklahoma mobile home park, and storms across ...

Shaughn Maxwell Presents on Disaster Response Implementation at EMS Today 2015

Award-winner and EMS innovator Shaughn Maxwell took audiences through two unique historic disasters in 2014. When a major landslide occurred in Oso, Wash., t...

Video, Photos: Plane Clips Roadway in Taiwan during Takeoff

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A Taiwanese flight carrying 58 people turned on its side in midair, clipped an elevated roadway and careened into a shallow river...

Tornado Strikes Georgia Community

ALMA, Ga. (AP) — An assistant fire chief in rural Georgia says a tornado swept through the area and destroyed a mobile home, injuring two people inside...

Lost Arizona Hikers Flown to Safety

Three lost hikers in the Catalina Mountains were airlifted out by a helicopter Friday night after becoming lost in hazardous weather. The three women, w...

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers