Freezing weather to continue through the week


by Staff

Posted on January 12, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:41 AM

PORTLAND -- The wet weather that caused havoc when it froze Friday started to dry up Saturday making for fewer patches of ice and fewer crashes in Portland.

Drivers should still be weary of low visibility because fog is expected to roll in overnight Saturday, making for dicey conditions and some black ice, said KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill.

More than 50 crashes were reported in Portland alone on Friday. Many of the wrecks happened on Interstate 5, including one involving four cars on Columbia Blvd., a three-car wreck near Jantzen Beach, and a collision between school buses in Vancouver. A number of school districts also were delayed and put buses on snow routes.

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9-1-1- Swamped with Crash Calls

The crashes Friday morning lit up 9-1-1 switchboards.

”There was a lot of stress…people were scared," said Chelsea Wynter, an Emergency Dispatcher. "You know if they’re in a vehicle accident, a lot of people aren’t prepared necessarily on what to do. They, themselves were creating a hazard for other vehicles that were on the road.”

Portland Bureau of Transportation spokeswoman Cheryl Kuck said road crews were out overnight treating bridges, steep streets, and known trouble areas with de-icer. She said the city would be out again Friday night but warned crews can't be everywhere.

"We can't put down anti-icing chemical on 4,400 miles of streets," said Kuck.

Forecasters said the pattern of freezing fog could likely repeat itself overnight Friday and into Saturday morning, and urged anyone traveling to exercise caution.

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