Extreme Cold, Freezing Rain Forecast

 The National Weather Service has advised the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to expect below-freezing temperatures, wind gusts up to 55 mph and snow, followed by freezing rain for the Portland area starting Wednesday night and continuing through Saturday, Dec. 24. The City of Portland and Multnomah County have declared states of emergency because of the forecast hazardous conditions.

Freezing rain on Thursday night could make surfaces such as sidewalks, streets and bridges slick and treacherous. 

PBOT urges the traveling public to delay all travel Thursday night and all day Friday.

If you do need to travel, consider public transit as your first option. Bundle up, be prepared to wait in extreme cold, and use extreme caution on sidewalks and streets. Always check trimet.org/alerts before heading out to get the very latest on delays, detours and cancellations. In the event of freezing rain, pedestrians and people biking are advised to watch for ice sheets and ice-covered branches or wires overhead, which could break or fall.

PBOT crews have started working around the clock to get ready for the winter storm. Crews placed 4,033 gallons of de-icer Tuesday night and may place more Wednesday night. They started attaching snowplows and gravel spreaders to large trucks, making them ready to clear snow and spread salt and gravel.

PBOT works to keep vital transit lines and emergency routes open in winter weather. Our essential workers are the first responders for other first responders as they treat Portland streets to make them passable for firefighters, ambulances, police and other emergency personnel. These snow and ice routes are the most critical for our city’s police and fire stations, hospitals, schools, frequent bus routes, the downtown core, and major business districts -- about a third of our entire street grid.

Preparing for severe weather travel:

Stay informed. Sign up at Public Alerts for emergency notifications from all regional agencies via text, email, or phone. Go to PBOT’s Winter Weather Center to track real-time weather, traffic, road closures, and plow information. Sign up for PBOT alerts via text or email.

Build a severe weather travel plan. Before the inclement weather hits, plan ahead for how you'll travel in severe weather. Our "Get Home Safe" travel checklist provides essential tips for taking transit, walking, biking, and driving in winter weather. Property owners, tenants and businesses should have supplies on hand, such as ice melt and snow shovels to clear sidewalks as well as pathways across their driveways.

No time for inaction, find some traction. Traveling in snow and ice can be challenging, and at times dangerous and slippery. Immediately after snow and ice, Portlanders are encouraged to limit their travel and stay close to home.Traction devices for your shoes will help navigate your neighborhood streets.

Have you purchased chains yet for your vehicle? Take the time to practice putting them on your car while the weather is nice! You'll be glad you did. PBOT has additional winter weather travel travels for pedestrians and people biking and driving

During the event:

If you need to travel, consider TriMet: If you cannot delay travel during periods of snowy conditions, consider public transit as your first option, and be prepared for delays, and look for alerts and changes to transit routes. Public transportation schedules can be found via TriMet’s website, as well as PortlandStreetcar.org/schedules.

Monitor road closures: Current PBOT winter weather road closures and chain advisories

Do not abandon your vehicle in a travel lane: It disrupts snowplows, police and fire responders, public transit and will likely result in your vehicle being towed with a citation.

Report downed trees. Did you see a downed tree or large limb on City property or public streets? Report it by calling 503-823-TREE (8733). Please be patient; Urban Forestry crews are minimizing safety risks and clearing the largest debris first. Emergency dispatchers are available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

Report Road Hazards Call PBOT Maintenance emergency dispatch 24/7 at 503-823-1700

Source: Portland Bureau of Transportation

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