Cold conditions lead to traffic delays in metro area - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold conditions lead to traffic delays in metro area

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Thursday was the coldest morning in Portland since January.

With temperatures dropping below freezing, the Oregon Department of Transportation closed the top deck of the Fremont Bridge to apply deicer Thursday morning.

By 7 a.m., the bridge was open again, but traffic was backed up for miles.

As temperatures began to drop, The Red Cross opened an emergency warming shelter Wednesday evening.

People and pets were welcome at the shelter set up at Imago Dei Community at 1302 SE Ankeny in Portland.

Hardware stores also reported selling out of home winterization items such as faucet and pipe covers.

"Obviously, we've been selling out of a lot of this," said manager Dante Rochon-Fernandez. "We already have three empty racks, and we won't get another shipment until Friday."

The cold weather can also cause pipes to freeze and then burst.

"Water will stop in their homes, and they'll think the water is shut off," said Jonathan Sheckard with River City Environmental. "What tends to happen is there's a frozen line somewhere, and they won't even realize it until it warms up."

Sheckard said there are several quick and affordable things you can do to keep your pipes from freezing, including faucet covers, pipe insulation and crawlspace vent covers.

"And it'll hold the heat that's from the interior of the home, and it keeps it the cold out," he said. "A good preventative there, and it protects any freezing from underneath your home."

A second warming shelter was also set up at the Union Gospel Mission in downtown Portland.

Pet owners are warned to keep their pets inside because the chances of them getting lost, stolen or hurt increase in the cold temperatures.

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