Storm No. 3 brings more snow, then ice on top of it - KPTV - FOX 12

Storm No. 3 brings more snow, then ice on top of it

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For the third day in a row, a winter storm slammed the Portland-metro area, bringing an inch to three inches of new snow, and then dumping ice pellets to top it all off.

Road conditions continued to worsen up and down the Willamette Valley. Things were so bad in Salem that the Marion County Sheriff's Office mobilized its Jeep Patrol. The Jeep Patrol volunteers drove around to the critical staff who work at Salem Hospital, picked them up and drove them to work.

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For the most part, drivers listened to the advice of meteorologists and Oregon Department of Transportation officials and stayed off the roads Saturday. The Santiam rest area was congested with slow traffic and drivers putting chains on their cars around 7 p.m., but there were no major pileups on Portland highways or freeways.

That's not to say police and fire crews weren't busy. Oregon State Police said they responded to 600 weather-related crashes in less than three days. They also helped an additional 900 drivers who were in need of help because of severe weather conditions.

TRAFFIC: Check cams and speed maps

Power outages weren't particularly widespread in the metro area heading into Saturday night, but the mid-Willamette Valley saw more than 7,000 people lose power due to snow and ice-covered trees dropping on power lines.

"Access is our biggest issue at this time," said Doug Butler, vice president of operations at Pacific Power. "We are able to concentrate our resources on a specific area, and we're bringing experienced crews and equipment to the hardest-hit areas from less affected parts of the state."

So when will the big thaw finally occur?

Snow is expected to start melting Sunday, but the big warmup is Sunday night and Monday morning when temperatures should hit the 40s.

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