Winter storm moves in, expect slick road conditions

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by KTVB

NWCN.com

Posted on November 30, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 12:14 PM

BOISE -- A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for southwest Idaho.  That means heavy snow will make traveling dangerous, and should be limited.

Idaho's Chief Meteorologist Rick Lantz says the storm warning went into effect at 5 p.m. and will last until 9 a.m. Wednesday.  Heavy snow is expected to fall in the lower Treasure Valley of Oregon and Idaho, and in the upper Weiser River area.

Lantz is expecting 2 to 4 inches of snow in the valley overnight.  The snow levels are the valley floor until sunrise Wednesday, and then increasing to 3,200 feet by noon Wednesday.  Winds will be mild from the southeast up to 10 mph.

The heaviest snowfall is expected tonight and that will greatly impact driving conditions as snow covers area roads.  The morning commute is expected to be difficult but the snow will begin to melt on the roads later in the morning.

The snow began falling in the Treasure Valley earlier this afternoon and has slowed down the evening commute on Interstate 84.  There have been several weather-related crashes on the interstate.

A rollover accident was reported around 4 p.m. in the westbound lanes on I-84 near Locust Grove. No one was injured and the scene was quickly cleared.

Around the same time, police responded to another non-injury rollover on I-84 just east of Cloverdale Road.  Several cars went off the highway due to the slick conditions.

Crews are out on the roads trying to keep them as clear and safe as possible as so many people are out on them at this hour.

The Ada County Highway District says they've had crews out for around five hours already, before the snow hit.

"We have had crews out in some parts of the county since about noon today," said ACHD spokeswoman Christine Myron.  "They've been driving their areas kind of feeling it out, looking for areas that may be in need of additional de-icer before the evening commute, so certainly ramping up before tonight's commute."

ACHD trucks are putting down sand and de-icer.  They'll send more crews out tonight, and if necessary, they'll put another crew out at 2 a.m. to get roads ready for the morning commute.

Law enforcement agencies are asking you to take extra care out on the roads this evening, and be sure to leave extra space between cars and extra time for braking.

The Ada County Sheriff's Office says dispatchers have been very busy this afternoon dealing with weather-related accidents.  Between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., dispatchers received reports of 7 slide offs, 2 non-injury crashes, 2 injury crashes and 2 rollovers.  

Reports continue to come in and dispatchers urged drivers to be careful on the roads.

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