The Oregon Department of Transportation is warning drivers to avoid unnecessary travel this weekend as much of the state digs out from the snow, ice and downed trees from this week’s winter storm.
In particular, ODOT is asking drivers to avoid the temptation of taking poorly-maintained back roads.
“Snow and ice are a significant presence on many roads due to low temperatures and persistent precipitation. Some roads may be closed or partially blocked by downed trees and branches, particularly roads along the coast,” ODOT said in a press release.
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Road conditions are worse at high elevation, and the Cascades will have dangerously low wind chill temperatures this weekend, ODOT said.
As of noon Friday, Interstate 5 remained closed between Ashland and the California border due to severe winter weather conditions in northern California.
“Our crews are out around the clock Friday and through the weekend. They’re helping remove disabled vehicles from the roads, plowing snow, ice and slush, and treating the roads to help with traction. We’re shifting resources as best we can, but we can’t be everywhere at once,” ODOT said.
Here is what ODOT says you can do to travel safe this weekend:
- Delay or avoid travel if you’re able to.
- If you must travel, check tripcheck.com before you leave. Look for road closures or delays on your route.
- Stick to major interstates or highways if possible. Many back roads are not maintained during the winter.
- Pack water, snacks, medications, warm clothing, and other essentials. Top off your gas tank or battery.
- Pack tire chains. Be safe and only install them in designated areas.
- Drive to conditions. Slow down and give other travelers space, and move over for people or vehicles in the road shoulder.