Transportation agencies ready for expected snow to hit Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Transportation agencies ready for expected snow to hit Portland area

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Sunday’s snow may have been just a preview of what could be a more widespread snow event Tuesday.

Past storms have proven that even a few inches of snow can paralyze traffic in and around the Rose City.

Last year’s brutal winter storms forced agencies like the Oregon Department of Transportation and Portland Bureau of Transportation to reevaluate their emergency plans.

After one particularly strong storm, dozens of cars were abandoned on streets and highways.

Transportation agencies say they’ve made some changes to ensure this doesn’t happen again when Tuesday’s flurries start falling.

“After last year’s heavy winter we created a salt plan,” said John Brady, PBOT’s director of communications.

Brady says in 2017, PBOT purchased 300 tons of salt, because unlike de-icer, it stays in place even in the rain.

He said eight routes were designated as “high-priority salt routes,” including West Burnside, Germantown Road, Skyline, Mount Scott and North Going Street.

On Tuesday, however, even those who live and work in the lowlands could get late-day snow, which is why Brady suggests opting for public transportation.

While PBOT will be monitoring the evening commute on Portland streets, ODOT officials will be tasked with keeping highways clear, a job made even more difficult by drivers who abandon their cars on busy interstates.

On a snowy night last year, hundreds of cars had to be towed after they were left on Highway 26.

Anyone who has a car towed off a highway due to snowy conditions can call ODOT dispatchers for help tracking it down, but people should also keep in mind they will be on the hook for the tow costs.

Also, if a road is closed due to snow and a driver moves or ignores a barricade, they face a fine up to $260.

The FOX 12 Weather Blog has the latest on this week’s snow forecast.

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