PENDLETON, Ore. — Heavy snow and high winds forced officials to close dozens of state roads in eastern Oregon on Monday and Interstate 84 was shut down through the Columbia River Gorge, while blowing snow also closed a major road over the Cascade Mountains in Washington.
Umatilla County, in northeastern Oregon, saw wind gusts of 60 mph (97 kph), snow drifts along roadways that were several feet tall and white-out conditions that prevented the Oregon Department of Transportation from operating its snow plows, the agency said.
People who ignore road closures could become stranded for several days and there were reports of multiple weather-related crashes and stranded vehicles, ODOT said.
About eight inches (20 cm) of snow fell in the Columbia River Gorge between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. Monday, the National Weather Service said. As a result, I-84 was closed between Troutdale and Highway 64 near Hood River because of white-out conditions and multiple crashes.
In Washington, Snoqualmie Pass over the Cascades was closed Monday due to blowing snow, zero visibility and avalanche concerns.
In Portland, the precipitation fell as heavy rain that caused flooding that closed some city intersections.
Officials also warned people to stay away from areas recently burned by wildfires because the heavy rain could cause mudslides.
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