Warming Temperatures and Steady Downpours Trigger Gorge Landslides, Closing Interstate 84 Once Again

A jackknifed semi further complicated clean-up efforts, and ODOT says you should expect a lengthy shutdown.

First, heavy snowfall brought Interstate 84 to a standstill this week. Now, all of that accumulation is melting and triggering landslides, closing the major thoroughfare once again.

Early this morning, the Oregon Department of Transportation shut down I-84 in both directions between Troutdale and Hood River after rocks, mud and other debris spilled across the road. Soil in the area is saturated after days of snow, followed by warmer temperatures and steady downpours, creating the perfect formula for landslides.

A jackknifed semi further complicated cleanup efforts, which happened about 10 miles east of Cascade Locks. ODOT expects that the closure will be lengthy.

On top of all that, a slide briefly cut off all access to the Historic Columbia River Highway between Crown Point’s Vista House and Larch Mountain Road. Crews were able to clear the mess and reopen the route before sunrise today.

Conditions have improved in Eastern Oregon, which was pummeled by snowfall earlier this week, causing closures in one or both directions along I-84 from Pendleton to the Idaho state border. The highway reopened completely on Wednesday, but other roads, including Oregon Route 334 in Umatilla County, remain closed due to drifting snow.

Conditions overall remain dicey across much of the state, including the mountain passes—and more snow is expected by nightfall in the upper elevations. The Gorge forecast includes more rain.

ODOT is warning drivers to be prepared for delays caused by flooding or landslides. That means you should pack a bag with supplies like water, food, a charged phone and blankets for warmth in case you get stuck.

Also refer to TripCheck’s website before heading out. Live road cameras and alerts are constantly updated on that platform.