Snow and ice expected in Western Oregon

Feb. 10, 2021


Don Hamilton, Portland area, 503-704-8452

Lou Torres, Salem area, North Coast, 503-559-7118

Angela Beers Seydel, Southern Willamette Valley, 541-505-2069

SALEM – We all need to think smart and think ahead in the days to come with snow and ice in the forecast for Western Oregon starting Thursday.

Think smart: The best tip for driving in winter weather is not to drive at all. Bad traffic jams happen when everybody decides to head for home after a storm begins. Watch the forecast and get yourself safe before the storm arrives and conditions are still dry.

Think ahead: Make sure you’re ready. Snow and ice can mean not just treacherous driving but power outages as well. Plan to work from home if possible and make sure you’re well-stocked and ready to burrow in if needed.

Go to for the latest road conditions. Check the weather forecast and if you must drive take extra care.

Our crews everywhere are working to keep the roads as safe and clear as possible and can work faster when there are fewer vehicles on the road.

If you have to travel, here are some tips.

  • The safest speed is often below the posted speed limit.
  • Expect delays, plan ahead, allow extra travel time and know before you go.
  • Watch the forecast along your route both for the trip out and the trip home. Conditions change as storms come through.
  • Bicyclists should remember that vehicles can’t stop quickly on snow or ice and motorists need to remember than bicycles are more difficult to see in low visibility,
  • Drive to conditions. Slow down. Be ready for road conditions to change from wet to snow to ice and watch for debris on the road.
  • Use caution going over mountain passes. Check the for closures and go to the cameras for conditions on your route. Many camera displays include temperature, elevation and other helpful information. A blue dot will tell you the road conditions along with traction and chain requirements.
  • Carry chains and know how to use them. Put them on when directed or when you need them.
  • Pay attention to the roadside variable message signs. They contain critical information about real-time conditions, including crash and detour instructions.
  • Pack supplies for you and your passengers in case of major delays. Include food, water, blankets, warm clothes and medications. Keep your cell phone charged. Don’t forget your pets. They have needs too.
  • Perhaps most important, make sure there’s a sober, focused and alert driver behind the wheel to help you arrive safely, wherever you may go. Buzzed drivers are drunk drivers.

Please look out for each other and be courteous.