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Portland’s snow ‘is over with’

PORTLAND – The winter weather that has already blanketed much of the state with snow delivered more of the same Thursday.

But not too much more.

The Portland metro area got a Christmas Day dusting, receiving about 2 inches of snow, said Charles Dalton, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Portland.

He said the agency planned to lift a weather winter advisory it had issued for the northern stretch of the Willamette Valley and predicted that precipitation at lower levels would turn to rain, ending what the National Weather Service said was the heaviest snowfall in Portland since 1980.

“As of right now everything is over with,” Dalton said.

He said the same goes for the mountains, where the week’s winter storms were expected to tail off. About 4 to 8 inches of snow fell in parts of the North Oregon’s Coast Range and between 8 and 10 inches fell in the Cascades.

At lower levels, temperatures are expected to warm and overnight lows are likely to stay above freezing, he said.

For drivers, the warmer weather means clearer roads. Peter Murphy, an Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman, said all roads in the Willamette Valley, as well as mountain passes in the Cascades, were open Christmas Day.

“I wouldn’t say it’s perfect,” he said, “but it all seemed to be in pretty good shape.”

Not everything was in good shape, however. The city of Vernonia, which dealt with devastating floods last December, opened an emergency shelter Thursday because many of its residents are without power.

Elsewhere, Portland General Electric, the state’s largest utility, said about 19,000 of its customers were without power as of 4 p.m. Thursday – down from 23,000 at the beginning of the day. Most of its outages were reported in Salem, Silverton and Sheridan, said PGE spokesman Steve Corson.

The day’s snowfall kept crews from repairing power outages at higher elevations. PGE said crews would continue to work through the weekend to repair the remaining outages.

Since a week ago, PGE said crews have repaired 370,000 outages and responded to more than 2,200 downed wires.

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