PORTLAND – A new Freezing Rain Advisory was issued for 4 a.m. Monday until noon in the Portland and Vancouver Metro areas as this powerful storm hits with one final blast.
KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino said most of the freezing rain was expected east of I-205 during the morning commute. He added that another hazard facing drivers will be pooling water on area roadways as many drains remain blocked, and the slushy mix of snow and ice starts to melt.
The National Weather Service advisory warned that freezing rain may further coat road surfaces and create dangerous driving conditions, as well as risks for walkers. "Safety cannot be understated. Please do not go under trees. Tree limbs and even whole trees can fall with little notice and potentially kill you when coated with ice," it said.
Some area school districts also announced closures for Monday.
KGW Meteorologist Nick Allard said to expect a slow warming trend on Sunday from the south working north, but that temperatures in the Metro area would not warm up enough Sunday to melt frozen roadways.
Allard warns freezing rain is the most dangerous type of winter precipitation. Residents were urged to stay inside and not drive in the treacherous conditions.
Freezing rain was coating snow and weighing down tree limbs. In Oregon’s worst ice storms over the years, tens of thousands of residents lost power as lines were downed and transformers blew up across the metro area and central Willamette Valley.
On Saturday, city commissioners Nick Fish and Steve Novick were joined by TriMet’s Mary Fetsch in an afternoon press conference. They warned residents to stay home rather than try to drive in the dicey conditions.
Oregon State Police reported 600 weather-related crashes in the state since the first wave of snow moved in Thursday. Most of the injuries were minor, but one woman was killed Friday afternoon on Interstate 84 near Rooster Rock. She was a passenger when the driver lost control and smashed into a tree.
Salem announced Friday evening that all vehicles were required to have chains or traction tires going into Sunday morning.
Both Vancouver and Beaverton officials also urged its residents to stay inside and use caution when driving after freezing rain pounded the region.
Gas stations in Portland were reportedly running out of gas as trucks were unable to make it through the snow.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has been out putting de-icer down across the state as plows moved through the metro area.
So far, ODOT has put down 100,000 gallons of de-icer.
Many drivers on Portland-area highways and interstates abandoned their vehicles after they couldn't drive in Thursday's snowstorm. On Friday, they scrambled to recover their vehicles before the next wave of snow hit.
LATEST: School Closures / Early Releases
The City of Portland announced Friday morning that operations were shut down except for essential workers.