The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from 4 p.m. Thursday until 1 p.m. Friday, predicting a mix of light snow and freezing rain. The region could get up to an inch of snow and a quarter to half an inch of ice.
Salem officials say power outages and tree damage are likely, due to the ice, and travel could be difficult. Severe weather also is expected in Portland and throughout Oregon.
9:30 p.m.: Freezing rain may increase into Friday
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued a report on Oregon’s freezing rain, listing it as “concerning.”
According to the report, portions of the Willamette Valley are more likely to see greater accretions of freezing rain than areas to the north.
9:20 p.m. Thursday: Keizer outage continues
Just over 1,000 PGE customers in Keizer near Keizer Station were still without power as of 9:20 p.m. Thursday, with no estimates as to when power would be restored. Power had already been out for several hours.
The cause of the outage was listed as high winds, according to the PGE website.
9 p.m. Thursday: Stay off roads, if you can
Freezing rain has made roads hazardous or impossible to use, especially at higher elevations in the Coast and Cascade mountain ranges, the Oregon Department of Transportation said.
“Stay off the highway for Thursday night if you can,” the department said in a news release. “Highways may be closing due to the severe weather and multiple-vehicle crashes in the icy road conditions. It is impossible to estimate when each highway can reopen.’
Closures as of 9 p.m. included:
- Interstate 84 is closed in both directions in the Columbia River Gorge from Troutdale to Hood River due to hazardous conditions. The interstate will remain closed from exists 17 to 64 until conditions improve.
- Northbound Interstate 5 just north of Eugene due to multiple vehicles sliding in freezing rain.
- U.S. 30 is closed at the landslide location between Astoria and Clatskanie due to freezing rain.
6:45 p.m.: Friday closures
Some schools, businesses and government offices have announced closures Friday, Dec. 23. Here are the ones we’ve seen so far:
Family Building Blocks: All locations will be closed Friday.
Institute of Technology in Salem: Closed Friday.
Marion County Circuit Court: Closed until Tuesday, Dec. 27.
Oregon Humane Society: The Portland and Salem campuses of the Oregon Humane Society will be closed on Friday. An inclement weather crew if staff and volunteers are taking care of animals. Adoption appointments are being rescheduled and all training classes are cancelled.
Oregon state offices: All state government offices except courts and legislative offices will be closed Friday in the Portland and Salem metro areas. Visit www.oregon.gov/das for more info.
Portland State University: Campus will be closed Friday, but operating remotely.
6:30 p.m.: Oregon 22 closed 2 miles east of Gates
The Oregon Department of Transportation says all lanes of Oregon 22 are closed 2 miles east of Gates due to a crash< There is not estimate on reopening. Motorists should use an alternate route.
6 p.m.: Snow accumulating on Santiam Highway
5 p.m.: Salem-Keizer Friday activities canceled
Salem-Keizer Public Schools has canceled all Friday activities, including athletics, due to the weather.
4:30 p.m.: Keizer power outage
Portland General Electric is reporting 3,492 customers near Keizer Station are without power due to high winds. No restoration time was given.
So far, that’s PGE’s only report of a widespread outage in the Mid-Valley.
3:15 p.m.: Warming centers open
Here is available shelter information for the Marion County area:
- Salem First Presbyterian Church, 770 Chemeketa St. NE, Salem; open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.; shuttle service available.
- Santiam Outreach Community Center, 280 NE Santiam Blvd. Mill City; open from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. on days when temperatures drop below 34 degrees; leashed pets allowed; call (971) 332-5676 for current information.
- Ray of Hope, 1540 Hardcastle Ave., Woodburn; check in between 7 and 8 p.m.; open when temperatures drop below 37 degrees.
- HOAP, 649 Church St. NE, Salem; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday; no overnight availability.
- Union Gospel Mission, 777 Commercial St. NE, Salem; shelter for men only; call 503-967-6388 for additional information.
- Arches Day Center, 615 Commercial St. NE, Salem; call 503-399-9080 for most current info.
2:30 p.m. Thursday: Forecast update
The latest National Weather Service forecast for Friday calls for freezing rain before 10 a.m., then rain with a high near 36 degrees for the day. The overnight low Friday is expected to be 35 degrees.
The is a 90% chance of rain Saturday with the high near 52 degrees. New precipitation amounts could range from a quarter and half of an inch of rain.
2 p.m.: It’s quiet downtown
1 p.m.: Too cold to ski
Noon Thursday: A great day for soup
11 a.m. Thursday: Early closures
Some schools, businesses and government offices are beginning to announce early closures Thursday in anticipation of inclement weather. Here are the ones we’ve seen so far:
Chemeketa Community College: Early release at 1 p.m., all afternoon and evening activities canceled. The campuses will remain closed for winter holidays through Monday.
The Grotto: The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights in Portland will be closed Thursday night. Visit the website for ticket refund info.
Institute of Technology: The Salem campus will close at 3 p.m. Thursday and reopen at 10 a.m. Friday.
Marion County Circuit Court: Closed at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
Molalla River School District: All campuses closing as of 4 p.m. Thursday. All athletics and activities canceled after 4 p.m.
Oregon Office of Public Defense Services: Offices in Salem and Portland are closed.
Oregon Zoo: Evening activities canceled, including ZooLights. Refunds will be issued.
10 a.m. Thursday: Snow likely this afternoon
The latest National Weather Service report indicates snow is likely, mainly after 4 p.m. Expected accumulation is less than half an inch.
Snow and freezing rain is expected to begin before 7 p.m., and then turning to freezing rain overnight. Ice and snow accumulation is possible overnight and into early Friday morning.
Salem Public Works crews said they are readying equipment, alerting staff and pretreating major roads and bridges in city limits with liquid deicer.
They predict conditions will be worst in the early morning hours Friday.
Check your drive route
Heading out of town? Check the weather conditions along your route by visiting tripcheck.com or calling 511 for current road conditions first.
Consider bringing an emergency kit in your vehicle with you, just in case. Include a flashlight, snow and ice scraper, first-aid kit, blanket, food, water jumper cables and a spare tire.
Prepare for power outages
Wind and ice accumulation could cause power outages, power companies and Eugene city officials said.
Pacific Power said it is preparing to address outages if and when they occur. Anyone who loses power should first check fuses and circuit breakers, Pacific Power said. If those don’t bring power back, report the outage by calling 1-877-508-5088 or texting OUT to 722797.
Households also should prepare emergency outage kits with a flashlight, battery-operated radio, extra batteries, non-perishable foods, bottled water and blankets.