Debris slides after periods of heavy rain are nothing new in in Oregon and that’s what happened in the Columbia River Gorge Thursday.
After days of rain and snow, a slide briefly closed the Historic Columbia River Highway, U.S. 30, early Thursday between Vista House and Larch Mountain Road. Crews were able to get the road open before sunrise, however.
Then came bigger problems. A Thursday morning slide between mileposts 36 and 37 forced the closures of Interstate 84 in both directions between exit 17 in Troutdale and exit 62 in Hood River. A jackknifed truck at milepost 53 in the eastbound lanes complicated recovery. ODOT expects an extended closure.
Oregon has been like that this week with lots of everything everywhere all the time. Even for Oregon it feels like it won’t stop. And we’re in for more with more snow expected by nightfall in the upper elevations, more rain in the lowlands and both in the Gorge.
We pay the price on the roads. Conditions remain unsettled across much of Oregon, including the mountain passes, and travelers need to use caution everywhere and consult Tripcheck.com to check their route in advance. And take a look at Tripcheck’s live camera network; many cameras include temperature and altitude information that can help you better understand your route.
In Eastern Oregon, OR 334 remains closed Thursday by heavily drifting snow. Interstate 84 re-opened completely in Eastern Oregon Wednesday after weather-related closures.
With all this rain, travelers need to be prepared for delays caused by high water, rising rivers, downed trees or slides. Consider packing a bag with supplies like water, food, a charged phone and other necessities that might be needed in a lengthy closure.
And if you’re out on the roads, look out for the crews who have been working so hard everywhere in recent days to keep the roads safe and clear. Give crews a wide berth so they can get the job done.