BEND, Ore. – As Portland starts to recover from a historic snowfall that dumped more than a foot of snow in parts of the city, Central Oregonians continue to cleanup from their historic storms that have left three times that much snow in some communities so far.
On Wednesday, the Bulletin reported there was 37 inches of snow on the ground in Sunriver. Bend has 20 inches on the ground.
Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency after Portland’s storm on Jan. 11, but in Central Oregon the snow has been falling for more than a month. The U.S. National Weather Service reported that more than 50 inches of snow fell in Bend since December 6.
Heavy snow has threatened many residents’ roofs and some people were reportedly stuck at home, isolated by the snowfall.
An elementary school roof collapsed due to the weight of the snow early Thursday morning. District officials have closed all schools for two days in order to inspect buildings.
Crook County asked the state for money and manpower to help dig out its snowed-in rural neighborhoods. The state rejected that request.
The Bulletin reports that the state concluded Wednesday that the county hadn't used all of its resources. It did, however, offer assistance from the Oregon Department of Transportation for an estimated $55 per hour, plus equipment costs.
Crook County Judge Seth Crawford says the county declined that offer. It had been hoping for state financial assistance and National Guard equipment.
Crawford says the state was understanding of the situation but has limited resources. He says it has been arranged for a private company to plow private rural roads that the county doesn't maintain on Thursday.
After the state of emergency was declared, Seattle snowplows came to help Portland dig out of the snow.