PORTLAND – It could take as long as two months to clean up after the storm that pounded the Portland and Vancouver Metro areas with snow and ice, officials said Tuesday.
From road gravel, to wrecked cars and at least one collapsed roof, the damage remains, even after the storm has left town.
The city laid down roughly 1000 cubic yards of gravel on ice-covered roads. Now that all the snow and ice has melted, sweeper trucks have been deployed to collect all the gravel to recycle it.
The trucks can only travel at speeds up to 3 miles per hour, so the process is especially time consuming.
“We’d love to say [it will take] days, but people should expect that it will take hopefully less than 6 to 8 weeks. That’s what we’re planning on,” said Diane Dulken with the Portland Department of Transportation.
She explained that crews will clear the city core and main routes with bike lanes first.
In the meantime, many drivers have complained that the gravel has caused chips on their windshields and dings in their cars.
Chris Ralston with Speedy Glass said it’s keeping his Northeast Portland business quite busy.
“The rocks are starting to lift up off the pavement and they’re hitting the windshields,” he said. “Business has picked up 70 percent.”
Bumper, fender and suspension damage are the most common problems, according to J.R. Carlson with Fix It Auto on East Burnside.
“It turns into a big down pouring of business that comes into the shop,” he said.
A few blocks away, another business was dealing with an entirely different weather-related issue. The roof of the Urban Farm store collapsed early Sunday morning.
”I think the ice really added to some of the weight and it just broke the trusses right off their supports,” said manager Jason Everly.
“We’re just lucky that everybody was safe and nobody was here. “ In Southwest Portland the fans were running at the West Slope Community Library, and the north wall was down to the studs after melting snow leaked inside. Luckily, no books were damaged.
The winter storm may be over, but for many, the clean-up has just begun.