SISTERS, Ore. – Two snow slides and heavy snow accumulations caused the closure of Highway 20 at Santiam Pass for much of the day Wednesday.
An early-spring storm dumped 15 inches of fresh snow on the pass overnight Tuesday.
Some travelers were trapped in their vehicles for a couple of hours just west of Santiam Pass after the slides, but nobody was hurt, according to Lou Torres with the Oregon Department of Transportation. He said crews with snow-blowing heavy equipment reached the vehicles late in the morning and helped them out.
The slides were cleared and Highway 20 was reopened to traffic late Wednesday afternoon, but ODOT officials warned drivers to remain prepared for hazardous winter driving conditions.
ODOT crews also reported crashes on Interstate 5 caused by the Spring storm, as well as downed trees on other highways.
U.S. 20 east of Sweet Home was closed because trees fell on power lines and reopened around 2 p.m.
The storm stretches from Roseburg in southwest Oregon to southwest Washington and east through central and northeast Oregon.
An avalanche also closed Highway 35 between Government Camp and Mt. Hood Meadows for a time on Wednesday. No one was injured in the slide and the road was reopened later in the day. More: Avalanche closes Highway 35