State of emergency declared after snowstorm; schools announce Th - KPTV - FOX 12

State of emergency declared after snowstorm; schools announce Thursday closures

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Source: KPTV/Air 12 Source: KPTV/Air 12

Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency and school districts announced closures for Thursday after a massive snowstorm dropped as much as a foot of snow around the metro area.

Brown said all state resources would be made available to ensure the safety of communities around the state that are blanketed in snow.

Many districts began to announce Thursday closures by Wednesday afternoon, including Portland Public Schools, Vancouver Public Schools, Evergreen Public Schools and the North Clackamas School District.  

For the continuously updating list of closures, go to this link.

The official snow storm total for Portland was 7.9 inches, though some areas saw a foot or more of snow.

The last time Portland had an accumulation of snow greater than a trace in January was 2012, according to FOX 12 meteorologists. This storm was the biggest overall since December 2008.

FOX 12 meteorologists said the storm that began Tuesday evening and continued into Wednesday afternoon brought one of the biggest one-day snowfall accumulations on record in Portland.

There were numerous reports of downed trees throughout the area. MAX lines in Hillsboro and downtown Portland were disrupted due to downed or hanging tree limbs.

Due to low ridership and dangerous road conditions, TriMet ran a reduced bus service Wednesday. Some buses were also canceled, detoured or on snow routes and all buses were chained up, meaning they couldn't travel faster than 25 mph.

Flurries were seen around the metro area late Wednesday afternoon, but no further serious snow was expected. However, the snow will likely be slow to melt, with temperatures dropping well below freezing overnight.  

That means the commute will likely be treacherous again Thursday morning, with slush freezing up on the roadways.

Some clearing is expected by the evening commute Thursday, with much better road conditions by Friday night.

The forecast calls for temperatures approaching 50 degrees by early next week.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is sending crews to the Portland area to assist on the roadways, including 12 heavy duty salt and plow trucks. 

Seattle City Light was also sending three city light crews to assist Portland General Electric in restoring power throughout the region.

More than 30,000 people were without power early Wednesday. By 5:30 p.m., that number was just over 10,000. 

Port of Portland said 122 flights were canceled on Wednesday, and so far, only two flights have been canceled for Thursday. 

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also declared a state of emergency due to the snow Wednesday. The Port of Portland reported that 122 flights were canceled at Portland International Airport on Wednesday. 

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