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Portland

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Humidity: 87%

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  • 26 Nov 2014

    Mostly Cloudy 59°F 52°F

  • 27 Nov 2014

    Showers 56°F 51°F


Limited MAX service restored, streets still dangerous

Limited MAX service was restored by noon Sunday after being halted Saturday evening because of worsening weather conditions. TriMet dispatched buses with trains to pick up stranded passengers, reducing regular bus service. Although road crews from ODOT, Portland and TriMet plowed and sanded streets throughout the day, the could not keep up with the problems caused by the three-day winter storm. Freezing rain that moved into the region late Saturday only made matters worse.

The Oregon State Police says that crashes are mounting. And TriMet says its drivers are reporting deteriorating conditions heading into Saturday evening.

According to OSP Northern Command Center Supervisor Dave Piercy, troopers statewide have responded to approximately 600 weather related crashes since Thursday morning. Most of these crashes resulted in only minor injuries to those involved.

OSP handled one fatal crash on Friday afternoon on I-84 near Rooster Rock 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 for serious injuries.

Troopers have also assisted approximately 900 motorists that needed assistance on Oregon's roadways due to severe road and weather conditions. OSP urges people not to drive anywhere if possible until conditions improve.

TriMet said early Saturday afternoon that its bus operators and field supervisors were seeing road conditions deteriorating. TriMet has more than 15 lines that are detoured, but the agency predicted that will likely increase as the conditions worsen. Buses with chains cannot travel faster than miles per hour.

TriMet advises that riders should check trimet.org/alerts for continuing updates on route impacts. Riders should also be prepared for delays, and dress warmly before leaving home.

At a Saturday afternoon press conference, City commissioners Nick Fish and Steve Novick, ODOT manager Jason Tell, TriMet’s Mary Fetsch and a representative from Pacific Power talked about plans in place and what to expect.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has 350 staff members working around-the-clock to deal with the storm, and all 55 city plows are deployed.

Additionally, ODOT has 44 crews covering the northwest region of the state, Tell said. Sand is being laid at intersections and hills, and crews are beginning to clear the catch basins to prepare for any potential flooding once the melting starts.

More than 500 calls for service were made to the Portland Water Bureau since Thursday, and one water main — at SE 111th and Taggart — broke due to the cold weather and age.

News partner KOIN 6 contributed to this report.