Snow and ice prompt chain requirements from Wilsonville to Eugen - KPTV - FOX 12

Snow and ice prompt chain requirements from Wilsonville to Eugene

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Snow and ice snarled traffic of Interstate 5 Saturday from Portland to Eugene, and by midday, the Oregon Department of Transportation had put chain and traction tire requirements in place for the highway in Eugene

As the storm moved north so did those restrictions. By mid-afternoon, chains were and traction tires were required on all vehicles from Wilsonville to Eugene.

Those requirements were lifted by Sunday morning, but drivers were still urged to be cautious on the highway. 

Truck driver Allen Dodson stopped in Salem to repair a set of chains that had broke on his semi truck. He said it is a rare occasion that he has to chain up in the Willamette Valley.

“I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years, probably my second or third time here on I-5 through Oregon," Dodson said, noting how few times he had to use chains. "So yeah, it is pretty rare.”

Dodson said he was headed from Woodburn to Grants Pass and had seen the destruction the icy roads had caused.

Further south at the Santiam Rest Area, drivers were stopped to take a break from the winter driving.

“I’ve seen a few cars upside down,” driver Chris Marquez said.

“I mean it has just been crazy, cars flipped over, cars hitting each other, icy roads people not driving safe,” driver Josh Ledford added.

Ledford was headed from Seattle to California for work. He says he left Seattle around 2:00 p.m., adding that the drive turned nasty just north of Portland.

“It has been a long drive,” he said, “From just north of Portland, about Vancouver, clear down to wherever the heck I am at now, it has been crap roads”

For others like Coral Caudill and her father Doug, the snow was a bit of a headache. Even with the hassles, though, Coral admitted there was a bit of excitement when they stopped for a break.

“This is my first time being in snow,” she said. "I think it is pretty cool and it is very cold.”

Many of drivers who dared hit the roads Saturday had a consistent message for those who were thinking about heading out behind the wheel.

“If you don’t have to do it, like stay home, it is the safest thing to do, because it is really dangerous,” Marquez said.

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