By Associated Press • 

Early 2017 snowstorm pounds southern, central Oregon

MEDFORD — A major winter storm slammed Medford with its snowiest day in nearly a century.

More than 8 inches fell at the local airport from midnight Monday to midnight Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. The only day with more snow was Dec. 11, 1919, when 11 inches fell.

The Mail Tribune reports up to 3 additional inches could fall Wednesday morning in Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass, and up to 18 more inches could fall higher up along the Siskiyou Pass and around Crater Lake. Rogue Valley residents should see some clearing by afternoon as the system moves east.

Interstate 5 remained closed Wednesday morning near the California state line because of dangerous driving conditions in Northern California on the Anderson Grade, which spans between the Klamath River and Yreka, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. ODOT road cameras show long lines of commercial trucks parked on the shoulder.

Pacific Power said more than 6,000 customers in Rogue River, Selma, Kerby and Cave Junction remained without power following the storm.

Along with school closures, all state offices are closed in Jackson and Josephine counties.

School and state agencies are also closed throughout central and south-central Oregon.

KTVZ reports that a National Weather Service spotter northwest of Terrebonne reported a foot of new snow overnight and three-foot snow drifts early Wednesday. A weather spotter southeast of Bend reported 8 new inches and also had three-foot drifts as snow continued to fall.

An avalanche closed Highway 20 about two miles west of Santiam Pass. Crews were trying to reopen at least one lane of traffic Wednesday morning.

In the Willamette Valley, the Eugene, Springfield and Bethel school districts canceled classes Wednesday because of snow. Strong winds caused scattered power outages on a below-freezing day in Portland.

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