Weekend storm brings icy roads, freezing rain to metro area - KPTV - FOX 12

Weekend storm brings icy roads, freezing rain to metro area

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Source: KPTV Source: KPTV
Source: KPTV Source: KPTV
A car with chains lost control, leading to this crash. The Washington County Sheriff's Office said nobody was hurt. (Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office) A car with chains lost control, leading to this crash. The Washington County Sheriff's Office said nobody was hurt. (Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office)

A winter storm over the weekend left much of the Portland area covered in ice Sunday evening.  

The National Weather Service issued an ice storm warning for Sunday. Scattered freezing rain showers were expected by 9 a.m., with the heaviest freezing rain coming in the afternoon, according to FOX 12 meteorologists.

By 9:15 a.m. Sunday, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced that chains or traction devices were required on Interstate 84 from Portland to Hood River. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office advised people to avoid driving if possible. 

On Portland's east side, the layer of ice made things a little tricky Sunday. In a neighborhood off Southeast 88th and Yamhill, roads, sidewalks and even entire cars were covered in it.

For Jason Schief, chipping the chunks of ice off his car wasn't so bad. However, his home was one of many that lost power in the storm, and he has a 1-year-old baby at home.

"It was getting a little chilly inside, we had thermal coats and long johns on for the entire family," said Schief. "We were fully packed and ready to go to a friend's house for the entire night."

Neighbors say it was an ice-covered tree that brought power down as it fell at about 11 a.m. Sunday. Crews worked as quickly as they could to restore power to hundreds of people in the neighborhood.

For Jonathan Knutson's family, being in the dark wasn't so bad.

"Luckily, I have a real wood burning fireplace and I cut wood during the summer to support that so luckily we're hunkered down around the fire and playing games and having family time which is a good thing to do because you don't get to do that much anymore," he said. 

People who did venture outside were taking it slow, crunching through the icy grass with every step.

Trevor Peterson drove to Portland from Chehalis to pick up his son and could not believe the wintry mess he ran into.

"There was no ice until about the south end of the bridge and then it got real windy and real icy and so this is kind of what I skated into the rest of the way," he said. 

In north Portland, people braved the conditions to attend the rescheduled Blazers game, which had been postponed from Saturday night due to the weather. 

People all over town ventured out, even in the typically problematic West Hills. Drivers with traction devices seemed to break up the ice on West Burnside, so it was smooth sailing like on most main roads.

But trucker Aaron Willis wasn't so lucky. He tried to make a delivery to QFC Sunday morning and he was almost to the parking lot when ice on Barnes Road ruined his plans.

"It looked like it had traction, but when I started sliding, I thought no," he said.  "And it must have been the hand of God that stopped it and that's when I realized, don't do anything else.  Just get out of the truck. Go inside, call my manager."

Side streets in the hills are still iced over, forcing brave walkers to tread or shuffle lightly, but some love the adventure.

"It's been fantastic," said MacGregor Hall, who lives in northwest Portland. "It's been easy. It's been fun … I love to escape the house on days like today."

But others, are pretty much over the winter weather. 

"There's been so much canceled stuff and just organizing work and figuring all that. So it's fun, but yeah … ready for it to be over," said Ellie Barnhart. 

Roads were expected to remain slick for Monday morning's commute, with a slow thaw as temperatures rise to 35-40 degrees Monday. 

Salem was also covered in ice, with chains or traction tires required overnight on Interstate 5 from Wilsonville to Eugene. By 10:30 a.m. Sunday, ODOT had lifted that requirement, but drivers were still urged to be cautious. 

TriMet reported that a few MAX trains kept running throughout the night to keep the overhead lines clear of ice, but by Sunday morning MAX lines were experiencing major delays and TriMet was advising riders to consider using bus service. 

All buses were running with chains Sunday, meaning they cannot travel faster than 25 mph. Riders were advised to check trimet.org/alerts for all the latest on delays and cancellations. 

Portland International Airport is open Sunday, however many flights were canceled due to the ice storm. Travelers were encouraged to check their flight schedules at flypdx.com before heading toward the airport.

Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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