News, Traffic, Weather

Every highway in the greater Banks region has crashes, cars sliding due to snow

Snow has heavily obscured portions of western Washington County, rapidly clogging area highways enough that the Banks Fire District is urging motorists to avoid unnecessary highway travel.

“Driving conditions are not good. If you’re traveling Highways 26, 47, and 6 use extreme caution or avoid it if you can,” said Banks Fire Spokesperson Mitch Ward. “Snow and freezing temperatures with zero visibility in many long stretches,” he added, noting that numerous vehicles had slid off local highways.

In fact, every highway in this newspaper’s territory—that’s 6, 26, and 47—had a disabled vehicle or a crash when the map was checked at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation’s tripcheck.com.

A National Weather Service Winter Weather Advisory said that anywhere from one to three inches of snow could be expected in the valley, with much more expected at higher elevations.

The federal weather agency also issued a special statement noting that high winds were moving through the area as well.

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue noted that different locales could have different weather scenarios.

“There are about a billion and one different scenarios that could occur and you might see snow at home, on your way to work, at work or a combination,” FGF&R said Tuesday morning.
“No matter what, be prepared for a possible snowy commute in the morning. Give yourself extra time, take it slow and give plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Also make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving. Have a full fuel tank, carry items like a blanket, shovel, snacks and water.”

A number of bus routes in the Banks School District were on snow routes Wednesday morning.

This story was updated Wednesday morning with bus route information.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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