Wintry storm drops snow, causes traffic issues in metro area - KPTV - FOX 12

Wintry storm drops snow, causes traffic issues in metro area

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A wintry storm dropped snow on the Portland metro area Thursday.

By noon, snow was falling throughout the area and began to stick in many places.

The snow continued for several hours with several strong bursts along the way. By 3:30 p.m., the snow had stopped for most of the metro area.

Conditions turned to freezing rain in the late afternoon, before turning to light rain showers overnight, according to FOX 12 meteorologists.  

Drivers were advised to be cautious as road conditions worsened Thursday. Traffic backups were reported on highways throughout the area. 

Icy roads and crashes were also being reported off the highways. Even with many spots transitioning to rain Thursday evening, some roads were expected to remain slick, especially in upper elevations, Thursday night and Friday morning. 

A trace to 2 inches of snow was expected for the middle of the metro area Thursday, with up to four inches farther west and toward the Gorge. The official total snowfall for Portland on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, was a half inch. 

Portland General Electric reported that around 2,000 people had lost power by 5 p.m. Thursday. Power had returned to most customers by 9:30 p.m.

Temperatures were expected to remain around freezing overnight, but they were not expected to dip below freezing Friday or during the weekend, with highs projected to be 45 degrees. 

School districts throughout the area, including Portland Public Schools, made the call to cancel classes Thursday. Most closures were announced Wednesday night in preparation for the storm.

A number of flights in and out of Portland were also canceled due to the weather, with flypdx.com updating airline information.

The Oregon Zoo announced it would be closed Thursday and Zoo Lights was canceled for the evening. The Grotto is also closed and has canceled the Christmas Festival of Lights on Thursday night. 

TriMet officials said some buses were chained up for the storm and would only be able to travel 25 mph. Riders were advised to adjust their plans and expect delays. 

The Columbia River Gorge was facing blizzard-like conditions Thursday with wind gusts expected up to 70 mph, freezing rain throughout the day and into the evening and snow accumulations between 4 to 8 inches, according to FOX 12 meteorologists.

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