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Trailblazers, Zags games canceled due to severe weather conditions

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. – The winter storm may have its first victim. A woman in her 50s is believed to have died of exposure due to cold temperatures, according to a police statement Saturday.

She has tentatively been identified as a 52-year-old woman who resides in downtown Portland. The Oregon State Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy and ultimately determine the cause of death.

One month after a rare winter storm brought Portland to a halt, snow fell once again in Oregon’s largest city on Saturday, and freezing rain was forecast for later on.

Getting ready to hunker down for the latest storm, Portland residents stood in long lines at grocery stores Saturday to purchase food, beer, wine and other goods.

Snow and sleet made for treacherous roads in Oregon on Saturday, with the state police warning that they couldn’t keep up with all the crashes.

The National Weather Service said that by early afternoon 3 inches of snow had fallen on top of freezing rain in the Eugene area, about two hours south of Portland.

Oregon State Police said crashes were “continuous” on Interstate 5 between Albany and Salem, and officials urged people to stay home.

On Twitter, the state police wrote: “We can’t keep up with slide offs and crashes in Mid Willamette Valley.” They posted photos of several crashes, including one of a tanker truck that slid off a roadway and a jack-knifed semi.

With a few inches of snow expected in the city, the Portland Trail Blazers’ game Saturday night against the Detroit Pistons was postponed until Sunday, and No. 5 Gonzaga’s men’s basketball game against the University of Portland was also canceled. No make-up date was immediately set.

“For the safety of all involved, we have decided to delay tonight’s game,” Portland athletic director Scott Leykam said in a news release. “After consulting with a variety of public safety officials, and with the support of the West Coast Conference, it is the best decision to postpone the game.”

Portland closed its community centers and indoor pools due to the conditions, and many other attractions were closed as well, including the Oregon Zoo.

Whiteout conditions and deep snow drifts prompted the closure of several highways in Eastern Oregon, including Interstate 84 between Pendleton and Ontario.

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