Snow creating tough driving conditions in the Gorge

(KPTV image)

CASCADE LOCKS, OR (KPTV) – Snow has been falling non-stop in the Columbia River Gorge, and even more snow is on the way, meaning conditions for drivers might not get better quickly.

In Cascade Locks Monday night, it was a heavy, steady snowfall. A FOX 12 crew saw several plows come through the middle of town, but the snow seemed to be falling faster than they could keep up.

Meanwhile, Oregon Department of Transportation crews are working overnight on Interstate 84. But those who’ve been further east say driving through the Gorge is brutal right now.  

“It’s pretty dangerous out there,” said Kalani Lee with Gerlock Towing.

She and Jim Benski just came from that way before meeting with FOX 12 in Cascade Locks, truck in tow.

“You know our job, we go out there and we help people,” Lee said.

They're not even sure how many semis, tankers and tractor trailers their company has towed from the Gorge these past several snowy days.

One driver did not want to go on camera but said he is not used to this weather, and when the computer in his truck broke, he ended up stranded at a rest area on the way to The Dalles.

Remember the semi that blocked Corbett Hill Road for hours Saturday? Gerlock Towing took care of that one too.

“We want to keep everybody safe out there. That’s the main goal,” Lee said. 

Meanwhile, the truck drivers say in these brutal conditions they're doing the best they can.

“It’s a white-knuckle ride,” said truck driver Greg Kangas.

Kangas spent hours putting on chains and still he says there were spots where he was slipping and sliding.

“It’s bad and the roads are just super choppy,” he said.

It doesn't help that Kangas has a long load. He's hauling cardboard boxes from Yakima.

He tried to drop them off in Hood River but says there was no place for him to park, so he's staying the night in Cascade Locks and will brave the elements again in the morning.

“I want to get out of this mess,” Kangas said. 

And soon, he says, before the weather gets any worse.

The Hood River Valley has already seen a foot and a half of snow and could get another six inches.

And while the tow truck drivers say they don't wish for anyone else to get stuck, they're ready to go as much as they're needed.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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