Jackknifed semi blocks Interstate 5 near Albany
PORTLAND — Snow first hit south and then north before moving right into the heart of downtown in time for the afternoon on Thursday. It didn’t take long for freeways to turn into a parking lot. Students went home early and the snow called off many activities.
Meteorologist Nick Allard says a storm in the Willamette Valley is expected to bring 3-6″ of snow in the metro areas. More will fall in the higher elevations and rural communities. Heavier snow is expected south of Portland, making it the most widespread storm since December of 2009.
With snow sometimes blowing sideways from powerful east winds, a winter storm watch is in effect through Friday morning for the entire Portland and Vancouver region. A second round is setting up to hit the area even harder on Saturday and could bring ice.
The storm turned deadly on Interstate 5 near Ridgefield. One person was killed in this crash when they crashed in the snow.
Several other crashes also brought traffic to a halt north of Vancouver, and on SR 503 through Battle Ground.
Near Albany, parts of the Interstate 5 were closed due to several crashes for much of the day. One of the wrecks involved up to 20 vehicles. Authorities warned of treacherous driving conditions between Salem and Eugene. ODOT says chains or snow tires are required in Linn County.