Stay off roads, if possible, authorities warn as snow contines
Temperatures should rise above freezing today and the foot of snow blanketing Yamhill County should start to melt, according to the National Weather Service.
Still, roads are treacherous. Law enforcement authorities suggest that people stay off the roads, if they don't have to travel; if they must, police say to use extra caution and leave extra room between vehicles.
Pedestrians and children at play also need to be careful. When walking or playing outside, watch out for passing vehicles, which may not be able to stop or avoid you.
Snow fell again most of Saturday, followed by sleet and freezing rain in some areas. The National Weather Service predicts a chance of freezing rain again before it's over, with good probability of regular rain by tonight.
Oregon State Police say chains are required on many areas of Interstate 5 and on mountain passes. Roads are covered with packed snow and are very icy in places.
According to OSP Northern Command Center Supervisor Dave Piercy, troopers statewide have responded to about 600 weather-related crashes since Thursday morning. Most of these crashes resulted in only minor injuries to those involved.
OSP handled one fatal crash Friday afternoon on east of Portland on Interstate 84 near Rooster Rock State Park, where a single vehicle lost control due to ice and left the roadway and collided broadside into a tree. In that crash, an adult female passenger died from her injuries. The adult male driver was transported to a hospital with serious injuries.
Troopers have also assisted approximately 900 motorists that needed assistance on Oregon's roadways due to severe road and weather conditions.
For current road and weather conditions, check www.tripcheck.com.
Closer to home, a child playing in the snow was hit by a car on Northwest Wintergreen Drive in McMinnville late Friday, but received only minor injuries, witnesses said.
On Highway 99W, multiple vehicles collided at Mineral Springs Road near Lafayette, closing the highway about 5 p.m. Friday.
Additional crashes and stalled vehicles blocking roadways were reported.
The McMinnville Public Library planned to reopen at 1 p.m. today, its usual time, after closing early Saturday.
The Wheatland Ferry remainds closed.
All Yamhill County schools were closed Friday after early shutdowns Thursday. Saturday activities are canceled.
(See a complete closure list below).
Temperatures rose to the high 20s Friday and stayed that way overnight. A high of 32 is predicted today.
Snow started Thursday morning, blanketing Yamhill County in 4 or more inches of snow, depending on elevation. Several more inches fell Friday afternoon and evening.
Warming shelters are available in McMinnville. Call 211 for information.
If you must drive, do so appropriately for the conditions — slow down, leave more room between your car and the one ahead of you and allow plenty of room for braking.
If you do need to go long distances, be prepared with water, snacks and blankets in your vehicle.
Remember your pets in the cold weather. Allow animals inside or make sure they have a warm, dry place in which to take shelter. Fresh water should be available. Check to make sure water sources haven't frozen over.
. . . Head Start of Yamhill County: Activities canceled.
. . . Linfield College: Singletary Speech Tournament for high school students canceled this year.
......McMinnville Public Library: Reopening 1 p.m. Sunday.
. . . Wheatland Ferry: Closed
. . . Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District: Plant sale canceled.