Portland got a dusting of snow last night. It fared much better than most of the state.
According to data from the National Weather Service, areas west of Portland, such as Beaverton and Bethany, got up to 2.7 inches of snow. But in the metro area, the forecasted inch or two of white didn't stuck.
That's good news for drivers. Especially considering that about 130 miles south of Portland on Interstate 5, drivers are currently stuck on a closed snowy road.
The Oregonian first reported on the long line of cars stuck awaiting help from incident responders nine miles south of Cottage Grove, all without access to food, water, gas or bathrooms.
A spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Transportation, Gary Leaming, says attempting to reach stranded drivers and re-open the highway was made difficult due to down power lines. He guesses cars might have been stuck for over eight hours.
"It's not just an ODOT show to get people moving," Leaming tells WW, "with power lines down we've been at the mercy of power companies to get live power lines out."
He adds that northbound lanes at the site of the Cottage Grove backup were cleared about 20 minutes ago, but crews are still trying to remove downed power lines from southbound lanes.
"Once the southbound lanes opens, it won't be perfect," he says. "It will be down to a single lane due to trees being down."
Leaming says the Douglas County regional ODOT office and entire town of Roseburg are still without power.
"This has been a big event for Douglas County and for our transit partners because it's not just heavy snow, it's down trees and power lines," he says. "It's been a struggle today. We don't want people sitting in traffic, but sometimes mother nature just gets the best of us."
Data from the NWS show that Cottage Grove and surrounding towns were among those hit hardest by last night's snowstorm. Cottage Grove got 14 inches of snow, while neighboring Creswell got 18 inches. Areas further South in the Cascades got the most snow, with sites in Lane County, near Eugene, covered in 20-inch snowpacks.
ODOT's trip check tool still shows hazards and closures dotted throughout the state.