Businesses brace for slick roads in NW Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Businesses brace for slick roads in NW Portland

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Uptown Liquor is staying open while most businesses are closing tomorrow. (KPTV) Uptown Liquor is staying open while most businesses are closing tomorrow. (KPTV)

While some schools and businesses are debating whether or not to stay open with Thursday’s possible snow and ice - one business, in a notoriously dangerous spot says they’re staying open no matter what.

After 26 years working the cash register at Uptown Liquor on West Burnside, Ruth Dentler knows Portland.

She also knows that while other nearby businesses will likely close for a snow day, her loyal customers expect her to be behind the cash register - rain or shine, or even snow.

“I’ll be here. People want their liquor, their food and movies,” said Dentler.

In the past she’s seen people brave the snow and ice in creative ways, to get their goods.

“When we’ve had really bad snowstorms, people have come in on skis and snow shoes, those big things. Oh, it’s funny!” Dentler told FOX 12.

Laughs aside, Dentler knows how dangerous downtown can get when it ices over.

“It’s really dangerous to drive the hill right on Burnside. A lot of accidents happen," Dentler explained.

That’s exactly why the Portland Bureau of Transportation is requiring drivers to carry snow chains or have traction tires on West Burnside.

“If you’re going to drive on snow and ice you need to be prepared to take responsibility for your vehicle. That means pulling over safely to apply snow chains to help you get through snowy area and icy spots,” said Dylan Rivera, with the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Officials say West Burnside tops out at 950 feet, which can make for a challenging commute if we see icy roads.

Their best advice: be prepared and know how to chain-up if needed. 

"They also want to remind people to not overlook side streets, the slickest surface you may encounter could be your neighbor’s sidewalk,” Rivera said.

It’s a lesson Dentler learned the hard way.

“The scariest thing I’ve ever had happen was I slipped and fell into a hole, and a guy in a truck got out and helped me stand up because I couldn’t stand up, it was too icy,” Dentler said.

PBOT says people should avoid driving if possible. But if that’s not an option, they warn that if you try to drive, and get stuck and abandon your car - it'll cost you.

Drivers will have to pay for car towing and storage fees.

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