Gov. Kate Brown and Mayor Ted Wheeler Declare State of Emergency After Portland Gets a Foot of Snowfall in a Day

It's getting really, really real.

West Burnside Street, Jan. 11, 2017. (Joe Riedl)

This snowstorm is no joke.

Portland is seeing the most snow it's seen since 1980. There are dozens of power outages in the city.

The rest of Oregon is experiencing severe winter storms as well: In the upper Hood River valley,  the National Weather Service is listing 8-to-12 inches of snowfall. Major highways in far-eastern Oregon are closed due to snow. Buildings at the eastern edge of the state have collapsed under the weight of snow on their roofs.

This afternoon, Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for the state. 

Minutes later, Portland Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency for the city of Portland—lasting until at least Saturday.

Wheeler cited not only last night's record snowfall—the biggest one-day snowstorm in at least a decade, his office says—but cold weather that started Jan. 1.

"The winter storm is compounding an existing housing emergency and affecting key transportation routes, public transportation, and the delivery of core public services," says the mayor's office. "City public safety bureaus, including the Portland Police Bureau, Portland Fire & Rescue, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, and other City, Multnomah County, and State of Oregon partners, non-profits, and local businesses have been responding to this nearly unprecedented set of weather related events. The response continues to strain local resources."

Related: If you're younger than 37, you've never seen a bigger Portland snowfall than this one.

In the emergency declaration, Wheeler also cites downed trees and power outages across the city.

Brown's decision comes at the request of local officials and the recommendation of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

"As snow continues to accumulate and local authorities respond to provide core services and clear roadways, all available state resources will be made available to ensure the safety of communities throughout Oregon," Governor Brown wrote in a statement. "I urge all Oregonians to follow the recommendations of local authorities, and avoid travel while ODOT crews clear roads and work to restore core services."

The Oregon state of emergency will be in effect for 30 days, unless Governor Brown terminates it sooner.

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