COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OR (KPTV) - The Columbia River Gorge is expected to go from windy conditions to icy conditions by the weekend, according to the FOX 12 weather team.
A small system will move through Friday and could bring a dusting of snow to the Hood River Valley and freezing rain further west. Temperatures will drop enough that Multnomah Falls will start icing up.
The FOX 12 weather team said freezing rain could reach down to Interstate 84, but it's too early to call just yet.
For people who live and work in the Columbia River Gorge, wintry weather is both a blessing and a curse.
"I just take it a little slower. It's hard to me to go slow, but I do. I give it some space and hold on real tight. It's a little scary, but definitely worth it to see this everyday," said Georgi Vidalis, breakfast cook at Multnomah Falls Lodge.
In Hood River, Gills Point S Tire and Auto is already well into its busy season getting drivers ready for winter weather. But with the expected storm, the business was slammed Thursday.
“Today, we were a three to five hour wait all day long,” Buck Wharton, store manager, said. “Several customers mention that they’d seen the forecast of freezing rain or snow possibly in the forecast for this week.”
At Ace’s Hood River Supply, employees said they’re stocked and ready to go with deicer, scrapers and snow shovels. The store expects to be busy Friday and Saturday.
As for the roads, ODOT said it prepped local highways Sunday with deicer. Because it’s been dry all week, the treatment will work through the storm.
New to the Columbia River Gorge this year, ODOT will have two “ice-breaker” trucks that roll teeth on a barrel over the roads to break up ice and sleet.
Local road authorities in Hood River, Cascade Locks and Multnomah County also said they are prepared for winter treatments and cleanup but are waiting to see what the storm brings.
A more detailed look at the forecast is on Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen's weather blog: www.kptv.com/weather/blog/
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