'There are still some trouble spots': Still no timeline for full I-84 reopening

Fire closures continue to hurt businesses

TROUTDALE, Ore. -- For yet another week, eastbound Interstate 84 remains closed due to hazardous trees and landslide dangers related to the Eagle Creek Fire.

As of Wednesday, there wasn’t a firm timeline as to when the section of the highway between Troutdale and Hood River would reopen.

“There are still some trouble spots around the road,” said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Don Hamilton. “We’re not going to reopen until we’re confident that it’s safe."

Hamilton said that both ODOT crews and contractors were continuing to remove trees and rocks from areas along I-84. So far, around 4,000 trees have been taken from the area.

The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries have released new interactive maps showing locations of current landslides as well as where more landslides are likely.

Click here to view the map

“It’s 400 some truckloads of material that is being hauled out of there. And there is going to be more to come out of there,” said Hamilton.

"We went from dangers of dealing with fire, to dangers of dealing with potential flash floods," said Bob Schindelar, an operations section chief assigned to the Eagle Creek Fire.

For the fourth straight day, rain continued to fall across the gorge on Wednesday.

"It's another set of hazards. It's a shift from where we were before. And it's definitely something that we need to be cautious, too," Schindelar said.

So far there weren’t any major reports of significant damage in fire areas along I-84 related to flooding or landslides.

Despite the potential dangers, Hamilton said that crews were remaining safe. No injuries have been reported related to clean up work.

“It’s dangerous and it’s scary work for a lot of crews out there working on this. Especially in the steep areas where the rocks are sliding,” said Hamilton, calling the situation and highway closure “unprecedented.”  “There’s a lot of people working hard,” he said.

© 2017 KGW-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment