Mad rush for snow chains as drivers brace for weekend storm - KPTV - FOX 12

Mad rush for snow chains as drivers brace for weekend storm

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With just hours left before a winter storm is expected to coat much of the Portland metro area with snow and ice, several drivers are making last minute preparations for their cars.

FOX 12 stopped by Les Schwab in northwest Portland, where many people were gearing up.

“It was a big lesson learned,” said Scott Jaqua.

Jaqua says he learned the hard way, what can happen if you’re unprepared behind the wheel in a winter storm.

“We were in traffic for three and a half hours on December 15,” Jaqua explained.

Sound familiar? Unfortunately, it gets worse.

“Our car has been in the shop since December 19,” Jaqua said.

During the last winter storm, Jaqua says he tried to maneuver his way around stalled and abandoned cars on Southwest Market Street.

“We slid because we were trying to get around other disabled motorists in four-wheel drive and couldn’t control our descent. We ran into the back of some of them,” Jaqua explained.

So now, he’s at Les Schwab Tire Center, cashing in on his Christmas present.

“After the accident, the one thing I asked my dad for Christmas is a gift card for chains,” Jaqua said.

This go-round, when the snow and ice hits, his strategy will be a little different.

“We have pizza at home and movies, and if we have to go out for an emergency, we have chains now. But we’re not going to leave the house if at all possible,” said Jaqua.

Jaqua is one of many scrambling to get his car prepped before the weekend storm.

“At our store, we probably see 150 people a day before a storm come in for chains,” said Cliff Pruner, manager at Les Schwab Tire Center in northwest Portland.

Pruner says chains are by far the most popular purchase during the winter months. Studded tires, auto socks or cables are also good traction options.

“[Cables] are similar to what you see on some of the police vehicles or post office vehicles,” said Pruner.

Along with your tires, there are some other things to consider when prepping your car.

“The first thing to do anytime in the winter is have your battery checked. You don’t want to get stranded with a dead battery,” explained Pruner.

Jumper cables are also a must.

For all you “DIY” fanatics - sometimes cheaper alternatives have their place.

“The kitty litter is always a fun one. We see a lot of kitty litter in people’s trunks when they come in,” Pruner said.

Just don’t take it too far.

“Zip ties are a terrible idea for traction. It will cause you many problems and probably damage your car. I don’t think it would work very well, but it’s good for a laugh,” Pruner said.

If you’re a procrastinator, keep in mind the wait time to get chains or tires could be longer than normal.

Of course the number one piece of advice for this weekend: stay home and avoid the slick roads.

For the latest weather forecast from the FOX 12 Weather team, as well as the latest traffic updates and closings information, download our free FOX 12 Weather App for iPhone and for Android

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