PORTLAND - City of Portland crews are preparing for any potential weather emergency.
On Monday, the city's 100-plus vehicles were fitted for snow chains and inspected.
October is on track to have twice the average rainfall.
Forecasters weren't seeing signs of snow in the valley, but city crews said they would be ready for any sudden weather episodes.
In the event of a snowstorm, the City of Portland will clear about 1,300 miles of arterial streets. Crews plan to use more liquid de-icer and less sand and rocks on the roads than in previous years.
Cheryl Kuck with the Portland Bureau of Transportation said, not only does the liquid salt de-icer work better than rock salt, over time it will save the city money.
During the snow storm of December 2008, the city dropped enough rock on area roadways to cover a football field 26 inches deep. Following the storm, it took the city 3 weeks to pick up nearly 70% of the rock and sand. Kuck also said the city hopes to add to the current fleet of 5 de-icer tankers in coming years.
“Models show that we are in El Niño conditions,” Mayor Sam Adams said. “El Niño typically brings less precipitation, higher temperatures, and fewer storms than normal, but because winter weather in the Portland area can change quickly and without warning – which makes travel unpredictable – we all need to be prepared.”
The city announced Monday that its snow removal fleet of nearly 60 trucks and plows is ready to go. City workers chained up, mounted plows and took to snow routes in an exercise of getting ready for the winter storm season.
The snow preps seemed odd to some Portlanders who were enjoying 80 degree temperatures just two weeks ago.
"I was hoping it would stay nice through November," said Anzhela Alekseyeva, who was already missing the sunshine. "But it is Oregon."
"We are happy that we are out here and it is not raining right now," said Ellen Krause, who got out to enjoy a break in the clouds Monday. "Our son has been wanting to go to the park!"
Mayor Adams urged all motorist to check their vehicles, tires and emergency kit to get ready for possible winter weather in the coming weeks. He recommended that everyone equip their vehicles with emergency kits that include flashlights, water and blankets in case anyone gets stranded in the cold.
In addition, the City of Portland will begin its leaf pickup program Saturday. Residents were asked to keep leaves away from the curbs and storm drains.