Banks, News, Weather

Live: Here’s all the updates for the Tuesday and Wednesday ice storm

We’re in for what looks like a final round of icy weather starting some time this afternoon. We’re going to keep all the bits of news—that’s road closures, business closures, power outages, new weather alerts and the like—contained in this ever-updated story. Scroll down for older updates.

As always, stories regarding active emergency situations are always free and do not require an account or subscription to read. If you do not have a subscription and would like to support this independent newspaper so we can keep doing work like this, here’s a handy-dandy link to that.

For impacts to the Gales Creek area, visit our sister site at the Gales Creek Journal.

See a downed tree, or have a power outage, or know of a business closure? Please send us an email at [email protected] so we can get the word out!

7:30 p.m.: The Banks School District abandoned plans to have a late start on Thursday earlier this evening and instead have cancelled school for Thursday, January 18. “All schools and facilities will remain closed on January 18, 2024 due to hazardous conditions across the region,” the district said.

4:45 p.m.: The Banks School District said that Thursday, January 18 would be a school day—with a two hour delay. All the details at this link.

“Special thanks to [BSD Maintenance Supervisor] Dale Virdin for clearing the snow and ice from our parking lots and sidewalks,” said the district said.

2 p.m.: A Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA) meeting scheduled for Thursday in Buxton has now been moved entirely online due to weather-related concerns, a Salmonberry Trail Foundation spokesperson told the Banks Post.

Participants can watch on Youtube or join via Zoom if they wish to participate in the public testimony portion of the meeting. Written testimony can also be emailed to [email protected].

1:55 p.m.: Customers north of Highway 26 are getting their water shut off. The city did not yet say why, and I don’t know if it’s weather related.

1:40 p.m.: Highway 47 has reopened, according to ODOT, but power remains out for area residents, now listed as 32, up from 31. There is no estimated time of restoration. The cause, as you might expect, is listed as “heavy snow/ice.”

Service territory-wide, PGE currently lists 10,694 residents without power.

7:45 a.m.: The Oregon Department of Transportation says Highway 47 is closed near Creps Road just outside of Banks due to downed power lines. Portland General Electric said 31 customers were without power In the area with no estimated time of restoration.

5:55 a.m. Wednesday: The city of Banks said all city departments were closed due to inclement weather, with city staff having a late start time of 12 p.m. and a shortened work day.

8:45 p.m.: West Oregon Electric said at 7:21 p.m. that areas of Timber and Buxton had been restored, but that some customers remained without power.

6 p.m.: It’s officially an emergency, folks. As of today, the Washington County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency over the winter storm.

5 p.m.: Schools closed Wednesday. The Banks School District said that district facilities would remain closed another day. “The roads surrounding campus and throughout our district continue to present challenges for getting students to school tomorrow,” the district said on their website.

“Many of our current staff and the majority of our substitutes travel from Beaverton and Hillsboro, where the conditions are expected to remain hazardous until later in the day. Thank you for your patience and partnership,” the district added.

The closure extends what began as a Friday early release into an extra-extra long weekend.

3:45 p.m.: It begins. Multiple eyewitness reports indicate that freezing rain is falling across the region.

2:10 p.m.: Stub Stewart State Park is closed through Friday to incoming reservations that have not already checked in. The day use area remains open, but park staff advised chains or traction tires. The Buxton Trailhead on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail is CLOSED.

When will the freezing rain hit?
Depends. The weather is *ahem* a bit up in the air, but expect it to start any time from 2 or 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Here’s the full text of the Ice Storm Warning—effective at 2 p.m.— and here’s the full text of a wind advisory that ends at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Here’s what the Portland office of the National Weather Service had to say most recently (with a map!) on the timing of freezing rain.

Where can I find out about power outages?

If you’re a Portland General Electric customer, here. For those in West Oregon Electric Co-Op territory, visit their Facebook page and website.

Where can I find shelter if I need it?

The closest shelters to county residents are in Hillsboro. Find out all the shelter information here. The link is about the Wingspan shelter, which is open until Wednesday, but has links inside to other shelter locations.

Who do I call for transportation help if I need to get to a shelter?

Dial 211.

Where can I check if <insert road> is open?

For state highways and a look at area traffic cameras, visit tripcheck.com. For county roads, visit wc-roads.com.

Is there school today? No.

What about tomorrow? Maybe! Stay tuned.

What’s closed?

We’ve confirmed the following Tuesday closures either via social media, websites, or direct phone calls as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday:

Jim’s Market (and liquor store) will be closing at 6 p.m.
Banks Hardware will most likely close at 3 p.m.
Main Street Pizza will likely close at 6 p.m.
Snack Jack’s: “We’re playing it by ear,” said the person who answered the phone.
Already closed:
The city of Banks.
Washington County buildings.
West Oregon Electric Co-Op offices.
Be Joyful Salon and Boutique

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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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