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Dec-19-2008 13:55printcomments

City and State Crews Gear Up for Next Storm System‏

Portland and the state of Oregon are gearing up for increasing cold and ice.

Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - The National Weather Service is predicting another severe winter weather event for the Portland metropolitan region this weekend. City and State crews are prepared to respond. Road conditions are generally good throughout the city of Portland – clear pavement, some patches of snow, some patches of ice – but most streets are clear and drivable. Crews are sanding, plowing, and applying de-icer chemical on problem spots as needed. Efforts today are focused in the hills and in known hazard areas all around the city. Crews are patrolling the city and monitoring locations for temperature changes, precipitation, and road conditions. A partial callout of crews today allows employees who have been working long and hard since Sunday morning, December 14, to get some much needed rest so that exhaustion does not contribute to mistakes or mishaps in the field. The City is scheduled to return to full callout status Saturday evening to respond to the next storm front predicted to hit the region later Saturday, with temperatures dropping well below freezing on Sunday and hazardous road conditions possibly continuing until mid-week. Transportation crews are receiving assistance today from the Water Bureau to re-stock sand piles and chemical supplies. The City will be ready to go when the next storm system arrives. Although road conditions are good now, the public is advised that a sudden drop in temperature will make wet roads slick. Slushy snow will turn to ice, making conditions hazardous. There is a big difference between 33 degrees and 31 degrees in terms of road conditions, and Sunday could bring temperatures in the 20s and teens. Safety Messages · Take transit if possible. Our crews have been working around the clock to keep those routes open and clear. · If you must drive, have a plan before you leave your home. · Continue to carry chains in your vehicle. · Drive slowly. Brake gently. Maintain 3 car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you. · Do not pass plows and sanders on the right! · Be especially careful approaching curves and shady spots. · Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists - everyone share the road courteously and responsibly · Know before you go! Check road conditions at and click the Portland Winter Travel Info link for local information. Help for Homeless Population Severe winter weather will impact vulnerable individuals and families living on the streets. Anyone seeking shelter should contact 211Info by dialing 2-1-1. 211Info will be available to identify available shelter and warming centers between 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM, Monday through Friday, and 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to existing year-round shelter facilities, the City of Portland and Multnomah County are partnering with local community providers to provide the following seasonal warming center facilities. Family-focused warming center – Outer NE Portland Location: 1435 NE 81st Avenue, Portland (near NE 82nd and Halsey, just off the NE 82nd MAX stop) Dates: seven nights a week through the end of March Hours: 7:00 PM - 7:00 AM, check-in on site Serves: Families with children under 18; a second adult-focused shelter will open on Dec. 18th. Red Cross Severe Weather warming center – SE Portland Location: Portland Foursquare Church, 1302 Ankeny St. (at 13th Ave) Dates: now until severe weather passes (through Wednesday morning, December 17) Hours: 9:00 PM - 7:00 AM, check-in on site Serves: Families, single adults, and youths; pets allowed; some space for carts; accessible location (main floor) Red Cross Severe Weather warming center – NW Portland Location: Central City Concern's Estate Hotel, 225 NW Couch Dates: now until severe weather passes (through Wednesday morning, December 17) Hours: 9:00 PM - 7:30 AM, check-in on site Serves: Families, single adults, and youths; Pets allowed; some space for carts; accessible location (elevator) Please contact 211Info with questions regarding other shelter and transportation resources. Many of these services need volunteers because the prolonged cold has left their volunteers exhausted. Any help is appreciated. Emergency Blanket Drive JOIN needs blankets. They're gearing up for a cold weekend, and they need blankets to give to Portlanders living on the streets. The public is asked to drop off blankets at the JOIN day center at 3338 SE 17th Avenue between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

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