MOUNT HOOD, OR (KPTV) - With foot after foot of snow, the winter wonderland on Mt. Hood keeps getting better and better.
The roads, on the other hand, are getting worse and worse.
The highways near Government Camp were completely snow-packed Monday, even with ODOT equipment operators working around the clock.
Plow drivers like Jeff Landaker have been working 14-hour shifts since the storm hit Friday, dumping three to five feet of snow in the Cascades.
"We have every piece of equipment out working so far," Landaker said.
Despite the snowpack, Landaker says Monday's conditions are a huge improvement from what he observed Saturday and Sunday, when strong winds created white-out conditions.
"You literally couldn't see in front of you, couldn't see behind you," Landaker said.
ODOT officials say around 50 trees in the Government Camp area fell over the weekend, some of them taking down signs with them, like the overhead highway sign at the 26/35 junction.
"It seemed like every time I made a pass we had to stop, use the chainsaws, get the chains out," Landaker said.
ODOT marquees along Highway 26 were flashing warning signs Monday that chains and traction tires are required.
FOX 12 rode along with an ODOT plow driver Monday. During the ride, the plow drove past a stuck semi truck near the Trillium Lake exit. It did not have chains on its tires and will need to be towed out.
"Here we are, and now we're just dealing with it one step at a time," one of the semi drivers, Curlin Roberson, said.
Roberson said his wife was behind the wheel when they lost traction, telling FOX 12 that it was her first time driving in these conditions.
"Word to the wise, just check the weather conditions before you start up, if there's a chain-up area make sure you chain," Roberson said.
Thankfully, he says they had already dropped off their load.
The Government Camp branch of ODOT has all six of its plows working nonstop, along with seven other pieces of equipment to help break up and push snow off the road.
ODOT Government Camp Transportation Maintenance Manager Jason Skirving said everybody on his staff will continue to work through Tuesday. That's when he hopes they'll be able to catch a break from the snow.
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