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Jan-31-2008 11:20printcomments

Slides and Unstable Snowpack Keep U.S. 20 at Santiam Pass Closed

ODOT advises motorists to avoid traveling through the Cascade passes today because of expectations of heavy snowfall. Other conditional closures are possible if conditions worsen.

File photo of another recent Santiam Pass closure in Oregon
File photo of another recent pass closure
Photo courtesy: Oregon State Police

(DETROIT, Ore.) - U.S. 20 will remain closed from milepost 75 to milepost 80 for most of the day because of the snow slides that occurred at about 6:30 AM. In addition, there is a high probability of more slides from slopes above the highway due to the unstable snowpack coupled with blizzard conditions and high wind gusts.

ODOT crews with snow blowers and snow plows are removing the slide debris that came down this morning, but it is snowing so hard that as soon as crews clear a lane, it quickly becomes snowed over again.

High winds are also blowing massive amounts of snow onto the highway. Those same winds are loading the slopes of Hogg Rock with additional snow. This wind loading of the steeper slopes could trigger additional slides.

Forecasts predict another 2 feet of snow will fall in the Santiam Pass area over the next 12 hours. For safety reasons, the highway is likely to remain closed even after the slide debris is removed due to the probability of more slides. The closure could extend overnight into Friday, depending on the weather.

ODOT crews have placed signs on various highways to advise motorists of the closure. The closure points are:

* Highway 22, at Idanha, about 5 miles east of Detroit

* Highway 126 eastbound at the Oregon 242 junction, east of McKenzie Bridge

* Highway 20 at Camp Sherman

ODOT advises motorists to avoid traveling through the Cascade passes today because of expectations of heavy snowfall. Other conditional closures are possible if conditions worsen.

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Jefferson February 1, 2008 6:11 pm (Pacific time)

U.S. Senate Report Debunks Polar Bear Extinction Fears [See also the U.S. Senate Report released December 20, 2007, “Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007” "SCAM": The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is considering listing the polar bear a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This report details the scientists debunking polar bear endangerment fears and features a sampling of the latest peer-reviewed science detailing the natural causes of recent Arctic ice changes. "FACTS":The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the polar bear population is currently at 20,000 to 25,000 bears, up from as low as 5,000-10,000 bears in the 1950s and 1960s. A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain noted that the polar bear populations “may now be near historic highs.” The alarm about the future of polar bear decline is based on speculative computer model predictions many decades in the future. And the methodology of these computer models is being challenged by many scientists and forecasting experts. Scientists Debunk Fears of Global Warming Related Polar Bear Endangerment: Canadian biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor, the director of wildlife research with the Arctic government of Nunavut: “Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present,” Taylor said. “It is just silly to predict the demise of polar bears in 25 years based on media-assisted hysteria.”

Jefferson February 1, 2008 5:56 pm (Pacific time)

"Greenhouse Effect"= when Greenhouses collapse under the weight of snow---is this what Algore meant by "Greenhouse effect?"

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