First Alert Weather Day: Drivers on high alert for snow through gorge

Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 5:26 PM PST
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WOOD VILLAGE Ore. (KPTV) - Slush and freezing temperatures Sunday made for dangerous driving conditions east of the Portland metro area on Interstate 84.

One driver on I-48, Lyndsey Martin, said the snowfall felt like a sudden season change.

“I went on a trip to Mexico for a couple of weeks and I came back, and I was like what happened to fall?” Martin said.

SEE ALSO: First Alert Weather Day: Some Snow Possible Sunday

Michael Ochs, another driver, said road conditions through the Columbia River Gorge made his trip a lot slower than he’d expected.

“The roads coming in from Portland,” Ochs said. “There was a lot of compact snow and ice on the road.”

His family’s winter weather woes started earlier in the day in Portland before having to drive back to the tri-cities sooner than planned.

“I was in Portland for a soccer tournament with my family this morning and we were expecting a little bit of snow, but it snowed a lot heavier than we thought so they actually canceled the games this morning,” Ochs said.

Many stretches of I-84 through the gorge were marked by the Oregon Department of Transportation as “severe weather hazard conditions,” with roads covered by slush and melting packed snow.

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Martin said she saw many drivers through the gorge going no more than 30 miles per hour on the highway.

“I passed lots of drivers who were clearly not expecting this at all,” Martin said.

“The wind did blow us around a little bit and made it a little more slick, so we definitely had to slow down a little bit more than you’d expect probably,” Ochs said. “I love the snow, but I don’t love driving on the highway with the ice.”

Several plow crews were out clearing the roads throughout the day.