HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- While much of the region deals with flooding and heavy rains, it's a different world in the Columbia River Gorge.
Freezing rain has built up on the roadways, creating a treacherous driving surface. Emergency crews Friday night were responding to crash after crash along Interstate 84.
The eastbound lanes of I-84 were closed at milepost 52 Friday evening because of the icy conditions. The westbound lanes remained open. Drivers were asked to find an alternate route or postpone traveling eastbound through the area.
A freezing rain advisory was in effect for areas east of I-205, where icing of bridges, overpasses and sidewalks was expected.
The freezing rain is building up on top of deep snow in Hood River County. Nearly every steep roadway in the county was closed and trees are down on nearly every block in the town of Hood River. Many trees have taken out power lines and the power is out in many areas.
Saturday morning Pacific Power reported that 4,360 people were without power in Mosier and Hood River. The company estimated that most customers would have power by Saturday evening, but efforts to restore all electricity would continue through Sunday.
Warming shelters have been set up at Immanuel Lutheran Church, near the intersection of 9th and State Street in Hood River. Another shelter was scheduled to open Friday evening at the Hood River Alliance Church, on Rand Road.
Emergency officials urged everyone who planned to travel east through Hood River County to stay home and delay the trip if at all possible.
Across the river, Klickitat County announced major outages due to downed lines and multiple broken power poles.
Glenwood, Trout Lake, Snowden, Appleton, Husum and High Prairie had been without power since Thursday. High Prairie was likely to be without power at least through Sunday due to major damage in that area.
Communities without power since Friday included Bingen, White Salmon, Ponderosa Park, Goldendale, Goodnoe, Old Mtn. Road, Bickleton Hwy, Cleveland, Wahkiacus, and Bickleton areas, the Klickitat PUD announced.
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