PORTLAND -- Fears of an icy commute did not come true Tuesday morning, with temperatures throughout the region a few degrees above freezing but hazardous conditions remain at higher elevations.
A freezing rain advisory had been issued until midnight for the Portland and Vancouver Metro areas and the Interstate 5 corridor in Cowlitz County.
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Several minor accidents were reported in the West Hills Monday evening. There were no reports of any serious injuries.
Temperatures remained just barely above freezing Monday afternoon and were not expected to push past 40 degrees until Thursday. KGW meteorologist Rod Hill said there will be a constant risk of ice until temperatures heat up past freezing.
The Oregon Department of Transportation was urging drivers to take extra precautions. ODOT crews will also apply de-icer to roads throughout the region Monday night and Tuesday morning.
They offered this list of tips for driving on ice:
- Driving on ice is extremely hazardous. Check road conditions on your route at TripCheck, 5-1-1 or local newscasts and plan accordingly.
- Drive slowly. Cars that skid on ice can spin out of control.
- Allow three times the normal stopping distance as usual between you and the vehicles ahead. Fender-benders may sound insignificant but not if you’re in one or near one.
- Watch for icy spots, especially on bridges, overpasses and elevated roads. Roadways with no land below freeze first.
- Bicyclists should be extra cautious when stopping and turning on slick roads where bicycles, cars and trucks are all less predictable and more prone to skid.
Warming shelters were set up in Gresham at at the First Baptist Church, at 224 W. Powell and locations in Washington County.
The National Weather Service also issued a Special Weather Statement Monday afternoon for stagnant air conditions across the valleys for much of the week.
Hill said cloudy skies were trapping the cold air in the Willamette Valley, but a strong east wind should move the clouds out Wednesday, bringing temperatures up and maybe even clearing the way for some sunshine.