With snow blasting the mountain passes, the Oregon Department of Transportation said crews are out doing what they can to help alleviate the challenging driving conditions.
“So we’re expecting a lot of snow, especially over the passes and in the higher elevations,” said ODOT’s Kacey Davey. “So we’ve got crews out there pre-treating the roads and getting ready. They’re all moving to 12-hour shifts, so we can make sure that we’ve got folks out there plowing and sanding and doing everything they can around the clock.”
Outside Sisters, Chad Alden and his family are in town from Washington, here to ski at Hoodoo.
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“Pretty slow-moving down the hill, probably around 20 to 30 miles an hour,” Alden said Thursday. “Just kind of get in line and go. I would say going up over the hill was pretty slick. We saw some people kind of stuck on the side of the road. But overall, I think if you go prepare with traction tires or chains it’s pretty good.”
The roads were worrisome for local Jon Paul, who says he works near the Black Butte area.
“Normally the roads are pretty good,” said Paul. “Today, they’re pretty harsh. I have my truck, has really bad tires, and I’ve slid a bunch of times getting to work today. I almost spun out and got off the road. It’s pretty bad if you aren’t an expert driver, you’ll definitely have a hard time. But if you stay on the main road, it’s been pretty well taken care of, and you won’t slip as bad, but as soon as you go on to any of the off-roads, it definitely gets a lot worse.”
With more snow expected, ODOT says if you decide to travel, have snow-ready tires and chains, pack extra supplies such as food and water and check the passes online before you leave.
“Expect that you will be driving on snow with as much snow as we’re getting,” said Davey. “Even if we’re plowing constantly. There’s still going to be snow-covered roads.”
Also a reminder from ODOT: Do not pass snow plows that are out working to clear the snow. The best place to be is a safe distance behind them. However, you can pass the plows if they are pulled over on the side of the road.