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Storm: Oregon highways closed, man killed by snowplow in Washington

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 6, 2022

In this photo provided by the Oregon Department of Transportation, trucks are parked in the snow along Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge about 60 miles east of Portland, Ore., Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. 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.  (HOGP)
In this photo provided by the Oregon Department of Transportation, trucks are parked in the snow along Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge about 60 miles east of Portland, Ore., Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. 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. (HOGP)
Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. — Parts of several major highways in Oregon remained closed Wednesday or shut down again due to snow from a blizzard earlier this week compounded by fresh snowfall in some areas and more rain and snow expected.

Interstate 84 shut down Wednesday east of Pendleton and a 30-mile stretch of Highway 20 over the Santiam Pass was closed because snowplows couldn’t get through. A winter storm warning was in effect for the northern Oregon Cascades including Santiam Pass through midnight.

The Oregon Department of Transportation Wednesday afternoon tweeted that tow operators have been busy on I-84 in eastern Oregon, and showed a clip of semitrailer trucks stuck on the snow-covered interstate.

Major highways around Crater Lake National Park also remained closed and Hoodoo Ski Area was also closed Wednesday.

In northwest Washington, authorities say a man walking along a highway was killed when a snowplow struck him Tuesday evening.

The Bellingham Herald reports 47-year-old Aaron Cooper of Deming was walking along Highway 9 when a Whatcom County Public Works snowplow hit him, according to the Washington State Patrol.

“The pedestrian had their back to traffic, and the driver of the snowplow did not see him until it was too late,” Trooper Jacob Kennett said.

A wintry mix of precipitation was expected throughout the Puget Sound region Wednesday with possible snow accumulations in and around Bellingham.

Authorities also urged people to delay trips over Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90 as another foot of snow fell on the pass in an already record-breaking year with more expected.

“We’re gearing up for a massive storm, which could dump a couple of feet of snow by Thursday!” The National Weather Service in Seattle tweeted about Cascade Mountain passes. “If you can delay your trip over the next 24 hours pls do. We’re going to see very challenging driving conditions with major delays.”

The Oregon Department of Transportation said Wednesday that “travelers need to be prepared for anything that comes their way and be ready for lengthy delays” as conditions evolve.

I-84 was shut down for hours Monday in the Columbia River Gorge due to heavy snow, ice and gusting winds.

The weather is expected to warm and bring more rain than snow to the region in the next few days and flooding could occur.

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