PORTLAND – A combination of rain and snow made roadways wet overnight in the Portland Metro area and then some of it froze on roads, creating a treacherous morning commute.
Side roads were the worst but even interstates and highways had patches of black ice.
Residents were advised to stay home if they can, as the temperatures won't rise above freezing all day. But experts said that drivers who must venture out on the roads should slow down and be aware of their surroundings. It's also a good idea to check condition maps and traffic alerts before heading out.
Your commute: Check ODOT maps
The sliding and spinning started late Monday night. Highway 26 was especially slick in the westbound lanes just west of the Vista Ridge Tunnels, causing several cars to crash in fender benders just before 11 p.m. No one was seriously injured.
Slippery start to week
Washington State Trooper Steve Schatzel said in the Hazel Dell area alone, there were more than 30 accidents on I-5 before 6 a.m.
Travis Averette was taking the back roads from Battle Ground to Vancouver when he slid into a ditch. "It was a little rough coming into work," he told KGW. "I hit some ice and had to call a tow." He ended up arriving for work nearly two hours late.
“It’s really deceptive in that you can get in your car and it can be fair and wet, and then the temperatures drop just a couple degrees and roads ice up. Before you know it, you’re in trouble,” explained Schatzel, as he responded to accidents in Clark County.
In Portland, freezing fog was the biggest problem for morning commuters, creating sheets of ice on some overpasses and bridges. A TriMet bus was involved in a crash with a postal delivery truck in one of the iciest spots in Portland - on the St. Johns Bridge. TriMet Service Alerts
There were no reports of any serious injuries.
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