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Jan-09-2008 12:22printcomments

U.S. Highway 20 Opens Through Santiam Junction

Crews clear the road after four snow slides in less than 18 hours.

Oregon's Santiam Pass in the snow
Photo courtesy: Mike Brady/Oregon State Police

(SANTIAM JUNCTION, Ore.) - The Oregon Department of Transportation reopened U.S. 20 just before noon on Wednesday following four snow slides in less than 18 hours at mile posts 78.5 - 80.

The latest series of slides occurred Tuesday, January 8th just after 10:00 PM and just before midnight, says Joseph Harwood with the Department of Transportation.

"The second slide covered the highway in an estimated 12 - 15 feet of snow. Although several vehicles were stuck in the snow, there were no reported injuries."

The two slides on Tuesday evening followed two slides earlier in the day according to Harwood, just after 6:30 AM and again at 12:20 PM.

"Several vehicles were stuck until crews cleared the initial slide. No injuries were reported from either of the earlier slides."

District Manager Don Jordan says that with all of the snow that the area has gotten in the last couple of weeks followed by another several inches of snow over the last couple of days on the steep terrain, it created the perfect conditions for a slide.

"After the first series of slides yesterday, we sent personnel from the valley to assist crews on the pass. Crews will continue to work around the clock to keep the roads open, but we advise the public to avoid traveling through the passes if possible."

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