SEATTLE – A significant weekend storm disrupted plans across the Northwest, blanketing parts of Washington with snow, socking Oregon with rain and contributing to the deaths of three people.
On Sunday, Seattle-area residents woke up to rare lowland snow. In Portland, city officials sent out a cellphone alert Sunday morning urging residents to stay indoors and avoid travel after freezing rain turned streets and sidewalks into thick sheets of ice. As a result, parts of Oregon and Washington were bracing for a treacherous commute this morning.
In Central Oregon, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office was investigating three storm-related deaths, including that of a 61-year-old Bend man who collapsed while shoveling snow outside his home. Timothy Lillebo, 61, was a longtime environmental advocate. An elderly couple was also found Saturday in Sisters buried in snow, and authorities believe they were walking through heavy snow on an unplowed driveway to their home. They were identified as Henry Constable, 83, and Brooke Constable, 69.
Officials in the Portland and southwest Washington areas warned of an icy commute this morning as the National Weather Service on Sunday afternoon issued a freezing rain advisory for the region from 4 a.m. to noon.
In the Seattle area, several inches of new snow overnight brought a flurry of snowman-building, sledding and other winter fun before today when the forecast called for rain and milder temperatures into the rest of the week.
By Sunday, nearly 3 inches fell at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the heaviest snowfall in a single day at that location in about two years. Parts of southwest Washington got hammered with as much as 5 inches or more.