Snow slams Oregon Cascades, dropping feet of snow, highways closed

(KPTV image)

SANTIAM JUNCTION, OR (KPTV) – After hours of work by ODOT, Highway 20 near Santiam Pass reopened Wednesday just before 5 p.m. It has been closed because of a large avalanche.

Early Wednesday morning, the snow slid on Hogg Rock, hitting several box trucks and surrounding them in feet of snow. No one was hurt. ODOT worked to free the trucks and clear the road.

The area is known to slide in big snow storms.

At the Santiam Junction, several semis and passenger cars waited out the closures. Yul Louch was among those people waiting. He was headed from Eugene back home to Central Oregon and waited about five hours for the highway to reopen.

“I am just happy that no one got hurt in the accident. They turned around a lot of people,” Louch said.

Several miles west in the town of Detroit, people who live and work there have been working to dig out of roughly three feet of snow.

“Shoveling, lots of shoveling,” said Margaret Terry, the assistant manager at The Lodge at Detroit Lake.

She says it started snowing over the weekend and really hadn’t stopped.

“Every day, it seems like it is about three or four hours of shoveling snow,” Terry said.

With several closures of roads in the area and issues with power, Detroit has become a hub for those working to restore power, cell service and stuck because of road closures.

“We have had people turn around in the middle of the night, 2:30 in the morning even, and they will come and stay because they realize the roads are closed,” Terry said.

The downside of these storms is Detroit did lose power for several hours, but it has since been restored. In Idanha, further east, people who live there were without power for several days. It too has been restored.

Some cell service is down and crews were working to fix that.

ODOT is asking drivers headed into the Cascades to be sure to check road conditions and be prepared for them.

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

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