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Storm spreads woes from Gresham to Beaverton and beyond

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO MARK GARBER - Thick ice coated trees and power lines in Gresham Sunday morning,The severe winter storm is causing misery throughout the entire region, with city officials from Gresham to Beaverton urging residents to stay home and use extreme caution if they go outside.

Clackamas County officials also urged residents to stay home Sunday.

Clackamas County officials also urged residents to stay home Sunday.

By Sunday morning in Gresham, city arterials and neighborhood streets were blanketed in a half-inch sheet of ice caused by freezing rain overnight. Sidewalks, driveways and stairways were also expected to be equally treacherous.

Three Portland General Electric power outages were reported in an area affecting 246 customers in Gresham's 97080 zipcode. Power was also out for several hours at Fire Station 76, but the outage did not affect response.

Although emergency calls have been generally light since the storm hit on Thursday, Gresham Fire Division Chief Scott Lewis warned, "[I]t's not over yet, so we again want to urge people to stay off roads, and to make sure they are prepared in the event of a waterline break caused by freezing pipes." Lewis issued the warning from the city's Emergency Operation Center, which has been activated since the storm's arrival on Thursday.

City transportation crews continued to run plowing and sanding routes in priority order throughout the weekend. To reduce response times, Fire and Emergency Services' storm rapid-response unit, stocked with advanced life-saving equipment, also continues to patrol less-accessible southwest butte neighborhoods.

A warming center was opened at the Multnomah East Building at 600 N.E. Eighth St. in Gresham (at Eighth and Kelly). More than 50 people sheltered there on Saturday. For the latest information about warming centers in the region, visit 211info.org or dial 211.

For life-threatening emergencies, Gresham officials said dial 911. For non-emergency situations, dial 503-823-3333. For tips on preventing and responding to freezing pipes, and all the latest road closure information, visit GreshamOregon.gov/WinterWeather.

Beaverton hit hard by storm, too

The situation was similar in Beaverton, where public works crews worked around the clock to sand and plow city streets. They are working 12-hour shifts, 24 hours a day.

"Our public works team is working tirelessly to counter the effects of the winter storm and make Beaverton's streets safer," said Mayor Denny Doyle. "Peter Arellano, our public works director, has even been out plowing until 2 a.m. each night to help our crews as they deal with this challenge."

High-volume streets, major arterials and collector roadways are given the highest priority. Sand is applied to areas of street where traction is known to be a problem, such as steep grades, overpasses, bridges and intersections where stopping is necessary. The city has two snow plows in use as well.

Because of storm, the Beaverton City Library and the Murray Scholls Branch Library were closed on Sunday.

Through an intergovernmental agreement, several streets inside Beaverton are maintained by the state and county, and sanded by the city. Crews from Washington County and the State of Oregon are in charge of several major roads going through Beaverton, such as Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Canyon Road, Highway 217, and Scholls Ferry Road. Several roads, overpasses and bridges in Beaverton have also been pretreated with deicer. Residential streets are not typically sanded, except those used for emergency vehicle access.

For road hazards within Beaverton, call 503-526-2220 (during regular business hours) or 503-526-2261 (after hours). For state highways, call 503-226-5002. For all other roads in unincorporated urban and rural Washington County, call 503-846-ROAD.

For a complete list of city sanding and plowing routes, as well as a comprehensive map, please visit http://www.beavertonoregon.gov/index.aspx?NID=451

On Sunday morning, the National Weather Service is calling for areas of freezing drizzle before 11 a.m., then a chance of freezing rain between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., followed by a chance of rain or freezing rain after 5 p.m.



Local Weather

Cloudy

58°F

Gresham

Cloudy

Humidity: 78%

Wind: 5 mph

  • 21 Oct 2014

    Showers 62°F 56°F

  • 22 Oct 2014

    Rain 59°F 54°F