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Jan-15-2012 20:33printcommentsVideo

Severe Weather in Oregon Already Causing Problems

Includes school updates...

Salem-News.com
Salem-News.com

(SALEM) - Oregon is seeing numerous traffic crashes and problems stemming from cold and freezing weather gripping much of the state. We will use this article to bring our readers in Oregon the latest advisories, closures and other updates.

Take extra caution when driving, one series of crashes on Highway 22 west of Salem involved an Oregon State Police car and several other vehicles. As the report below indicates, road and freeway closures are already taking place.

We begin with the latest updates issued by Oregon State University, the Oregon Department of Transportation and State Police, and there are more expanded reports below that section with photos.

Salem-News.com's Jerry Freeman is covering developments and will have video to our newsroom shortly.

Education

Headstart Programs:

OCDC Headstart: Odell site 2-hour delay. Independence site 2-hour delay. Salem site 2-hour delay.Mulino Site 2-hour delay, Washington County no OPK a.m.classes, staff report 2-hours late Silverton Site no am classes. Update: Odell Center closed. UPDATE (Updated Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m.)

Clackamas Co. Children's Commission Headstart: Mollala Head Start am classes cancelled; Sandy Ridge Head Start am classes cancelled UPDATE (Updated Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m.)

Clackamas Co. Schools:

Molalla River Sch. Dist.: 2 hours late, the following routes on snow routes - 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 25. No transportation above Sawtell fire hall and Byrd Rd. UPDATE

Yamhill Co. Schools:

Amity Sch. Dist.: 2 hrs late

Private & Charter Schools - Salem area:


Livingstone Adventist Acad.: School starts 1 hr late; Morning latchkey open 6:30

Silverton Christian: 2 hrs late, No AM kind/preschool

Public Colleges & Universities:

Chemeketa Community College: All classes and offices closed until 10 AM. Classes beginning before 10 AM are canceled. UPDATE

Western Oregon University: Campus is open today. No closures or late starts. Marion Co. Schools:

Salem-Keizer Sch. Dist.: 2 hrs late, No AM kindergarten

Silver Falls Sch. Dist.: Silver Crest, Victor Point and Scotts Mills Schools closed. All other district schools two-hour delay. No AM Kindergarten. Buses 2, 33 and 9 on snow routes. No service on Maple Grove Road.

North Santiam Sch. Dist. (Stayton): Closed

Willamette ESD: Marion, Polk & Yamhill Centers - 2hrs late, no AM preschool Polk Co. Schools:

Central Sch. Dist.: 2 hour delay, no A.M. kindergarten, snow routes UPDATE (Updated Tuesday morning at 6L00 a.m.)

Yamhill Co. Schools:

Sheridan Sch. Dist.: 2 hrs late,Buses 2 & 3 on snow rts UPDATE

Lebanon Community Schools

PM SNOW ROUTES - Middle Ridge buses 89 & 82, Ty Valley Bus 99, and Green Mountain Bus 49 (Updated Tuesday at 9:10 a.m.) Linn Co. Schools:

Lebanon Community Schools: The following routes are on snow routes for this afternoon. Middle Ridge Buses 89 & 82, and Ty Valley Bus #99 (Updated Tuesday at 8:15 a.m.)

Private Colleges & Universities:

Oregon College of Art & Craft: Campus closed, including all studios, offices and the cafe- all day and evening classes canceled. (Updated Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.) Inclement weather advisory for Oregon State University Oregon State University -- With below-freezing temperatures, snow and ice forecast for the Willamette Valley on Monday and Tuesday, the university encourages caution for those driving, bicycling and walking to, from and around the university’s Corvallis campus. While the university is closed for Monday’s national observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, many individuals will be coming to campus for various programs associated with the celebration, and the university advises all to provide additional time for the commute, with roads and walkways likely to still be hazardous in certain places tomorrow morning.

No closures or postponed openings are expected for the Corvallis or Newport campuses for Tuesday, but students, faculty and staff are encouraged to visit alert.oregonstate.edu or phone 541-737-8000 for any updates that may be posted, should conditions significantly worsen. Any closure/postponement information affecting the start of the work day or morning classes will be posted no later than 6 a.m. on the same day. Unless otherwise noted, the university will be open on all scheduled days. For closure/postponement information for OSU Cascades, visit http://www.osucascades.edu/.

In difficult weather, individuals commuting via roads that are particularly challenging are always encouraged to use their best judgment in assessing whether conditions are safe enough to make the trip.

Police & Fire:

Salem Police Dept.: Salem Fire and Police working a fully involved commercial structure fire at Pine St NE and Front St NE in Salem. The structure, Club Illusion, is fully involved. Front Street is closed North and South bound,between Tryon St NE and Columbia St NE. Pine Street is closed from Front to Commercial St NE. Grove Street NE is closed between Front Street and Commercial St NE. Closures expected for several hours. Road conditions are not favorable. Public is asked to take caution while driving around the public safety workers in this area. (Updated Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m.)

Oregon State Police: Fatal Traffic Crash blocking Highway 126W near Veneta at approx. milepost 42 - No other info for release until later tonight or possibly Monday morning. (Issued at 6:45 p.m. Sunday)

Oregon State Police: Travel Info - Interstate 5 north of Roseburg reported icy and several minor crashes in the Sutherlin and Rice Hill areas - Interstate 5 at Sutherlin was closed briefly northbound but is now open - Interstate 5 at Rice Hill partially closed following crash involving a commercial truck pulling two trailers - OSP and ODOT urges all drivers to slow down for the conditions, make sure your vehicle is ready to travel in the conditions you will be going, and stay alert and monitor weather and road conditions before you leave and while you travel - Traffic updates at www.TripCheck.com and by calling 5-1-1. (Issued at 07:45 p.m. Sunday)

Transportation:

ODOT/Valley, No. Coast: Downed powerlines have closed Highway 219 0between Mountaintop Road andBald Creek Road (milepost 15-17). Motorists should avoid the area or consider another route. (Issued at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday)

Cherriots - Salem Keizer Transit: All routes back to normal service - www.cherriots.org or (503) 588-2877 for more information. UPDATE (Updated Tuesday at 12:30 a.m.)

ODOT/Valley, No. Coast: One lane of I-5 northbound is now open at milepost 170, approximately two miles south of Cottage Grove, where a semi jackknifed earlier today. Motorists will be directed to merge to the right to move around the semi. Motorists should reduce speed and drive with caution near the crash scene. UPDATE (Issued Monday morning at 10:45)

ODOT/Valley, No. Coast: U.S. 101 is open with traffic being flagged through just north of Nehalem at milepost 45 in Tillamook County following an earlier jack knifed truck. Motorists should drive carefully and expect winter driving conditions on most area roads. (Issued Monday morning at 10:30)

Cherriots - Salem Keizer Transit: Cherriots Route 6 back to normal service - www.cherriots.org or (503) 588-2877 for more information UPDATE (Issued Monday morning at 08:45)

ODOT/Valley, No. Coast: Winter conditions are creating driving incidents in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties this hour. Slick conditions with several vehicle spin-outs are reported along I-5 between mileposts 210 and 216, south of the Halsey/Brownsville area. No significant blockages are reported. In addition, a semi has struck the Harrison Street Bridge on OR 34 in Corvallis. In Lincoln County, slick conditions are reported on US 20, five miles east of Newport. Motorists are strongly encouraged to drive with caution according to the conditions and be prepared for delays. UPDATE (Issued Monday morning at 08:45)

ODOT/Valley, No. Coast: A jackknifed semi truck is blocking both lanes of I-5 northbound at milepost 170, approximately two miles south of Cottage Grove. Traffic is getting by on the shoulder. Motorists should anticipate winter driving conditions on state highways in Lane, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties this morning. Motorists are encouraged to allow extra time for travel, carry extra clothing and blankets, food and water, carry traction devices and reduce speeds. (Issued Monday morning at 07:30)

ODOT/Valley, No. Coast: Winter conditions are creating driving incidents in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties this hour. Slick conditions with several vehicle spin-outs are reported along I-5 between mileposts 210 and 216, south of the Halsey/Brownsville area. No significant blockages are reported. In addition, a semi has struck the Harrison Street Bridge on OR 34 in Corvallis. In Lincoln County, slick conditions are reported on US 20, five miles east of Newport. Motorists are strongly encouraged to drive with caution according to the conditions and be prepared for delays. UPDATE (Issued Monday morning at 08:45)

ODOT/Valley, No. Coast: Two incidents are now reported on I-5 in the Cottage Grove area. A jackknifed semi truck continues to block both lanes of I-5 northbound at milepost 170, approximately two miles south of Cottage Grove. Traffic is getting by on the shoulder. A second semi is disabled and blocking I-5 southbound at milepost 173. Traffic is getting by on the shoulder. Motorists should anticipate winter driving conditions on state highways in Lane, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties this morning. Motorists are encouraged to allow extra time for travel, carry extra clothing and blankets, food and water, carry traction devices and reduce speeds. UPDATE (Issued at 08:00 p.m. Monday)

ODOT/PDX, Mt. Hood: US 26 remains closed in both directions in the Coast Range between mileposts 22 and 26 while workers remove vehicles that became disabled earlier in the day in wintry highway conditions. Workers hope to have the road open again by 7 p.m. Sunday. Motorists should expect delays. (Issued at 6:15 p.m. Sunday)

Truck Crash South of Eugene Keeps I-5 Northbound Lanes Partially Blocked For Several Hours

Photo source: Oregon State Police

A driver was uninjured Sunday morning after his commercial truck and trailer overturned because of icy conditions on Interstate 5 south of Eugene. Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers from the Springfield Area Command are continuing the investigation.

According to Trooper Evan Sether, on January 15, 2012, at approximately 4:59 a.m. a Freightliner truck pulling a semi-trailer operated by Anil Chopra, age 46, from Puyallup, Washington was northbound on Interstate5 near the Highway 58 interchange when the trailer jackknifed and overturned. The truck and trailer slid across the road and collided with the center concrete barrier where the truck began leaking diesel fuel. The trailer was carrying approximately 44,000 pounds of metal at the time of the crash.

Chopra was wearing safety restraints and was uninjured. He was cited for a commercial driver log book violation.

OSP and ODOT urges all drivers to slow down for the conditions, make sure your vehicle is ready for the conditions you are traveling, and stay alert and monitor weather and road conditions before you leave and while you travel using resources such as ODOT’s website www.TripCheck.com and by calling 5-1-1.

OSP was assisted at the scene by ODOT, Goshen Fire Department and Northwest Hazmat. Interstate 5 northbound at milepost 188 will be restricted to one lane until approximately 2:00 p.m. while crews remove the commercial truck and trailer from the road and clean up the diesel fuel spill.

Photo Source: Oregon State Police

Weather-related Crashes on Interstate 5 at Rice Hill and Highway 6 Summit

The following is information involves couple weather-related traffic crashes. The first incident occurred near the summit of Highway 6 about milepost 34. Photographs from this incident are provided with this release. The second incident occurred on Interstate 5 at the top of Rice Hill. No photographs provided from that incident for this release.

According to Trooper Mike Snodgrass, on January 15, 2012 at approximately 11:20 a.m. Oregon State Police (OSP) and Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to several minor crashes in the area of the summit of Highway 6 near milepost 34. One of the crashes involved a commercial truck stopped westbound because of another crash when the truck slid on the icy road conditions to the side into a guardrail. Shortly afterward, a passenger car negotiating the curve lost control and slide into the truck. Neither operator was injured.

Earlier in the morning, Sergeant Matt Bowersox reported Interstate 5 northbound at Rice Hill was closed down for a couple hours while OSP, Douglas County Sheriff's Office and ODOT worked to clear traffic and plow and sand the highway. A storm cell went through the area dropping about 3 inches of snow causing two semi trucks to jackknife and block northbound traffic at the top of Rice Hill near milepost 147. The blockage caused several minor traffic crashes and ODOT placed a chain restriction on the pass. Southbound traffic was intermittently stopped due to spin outs, but was not blocked for significant periods of time and the northbound lanes were opened at 11:00 a.m.

At 11:40 a.m. a weather-related crash occurred at near milepost 144 southbound when a 2001 Toyota MR2 driven by Benjamin Noyes, age 22, from Mountain View, California was passing slower traffic in the left lane and lost control. The Toyota was struck from behind by a commercial truck leading to NOYES being transported by Douglas County EMTs to Mercy Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Noyes was cited by OSP for Fail to Maintain a Lane of Travel.

The Toyota passenger car sustained major damage to the rear and the semi truck sustained minor damage to the front.

Weather Involved in Crash near Silver Falls State Park

Photo source: Oregon State Police

Two people were injured Sunday afternoon in a weather-related crash when the vehicle they were traveling in went off Highway 214 near Silver Falls State Park and overturned down an embankment.

A 4-month old child in a child safety seat was not injured.

According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Senior Trooper Jeff Leighty, on January 15, 2012 at approximately 2:15 p.m. a 1997 Infiniti sport utility vehicle driven by Amanda Steffan, age 20, from Silverton, was negotiating a curve on Highway 214 when it lost control on the snow and slush.

The sport utility vehicle rolled down an embankment and came to rest on its top about 15 feet below the roadway.

Amanda Steffan and passenger Zachary Steffan, age 24, were transported to Silverton Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. They were using safety restraints.

The 4-month old child in a child safety seat was also taken to the hospital with the two occupants but was not injured.

OSP was assisted at the scene by numerous passing motorists, local fire personnel and ODOT.

Photo Source: Oregon State Police

Snow Plow Crashes Into Car West of Manning

Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into a Sunday morning minor injury crash involving a passenger car and an ODOT snow plow on Highway 26 about eight miles west of Manning. No names were provided for this release.

According to Trooper Michael VanRenterghem, on January 15, 2012 at approximately 10:15 a.m. an ODOT snow plow was stopped along the eastbound shoulder of Highway 26 near milepost 39. A Dodge Challenger with two occupants was westbound at an estimated 35 – 40 mph in the left lane when its driver lost control.

The Dodge slid across the highway and crashed broadside into the snow plow’s front scoop.

The ODOT employee inside the truck wasn’t able to back up before the snow plow was struck. He was not injured.

The Dodge’s two occupants were transported by Metro West ambulance to an unidentified hospital with minor injuries.

OSP troopers from the North Plains office are continuing the investigation. Banks Fire Department, Metro West ambulance and ODOT assisted at the scene.




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