PORTLAND -- Patches of ice that caused traffic snarls during the morning commute in areas in and around Portland and Vancouver Wednesday were melting but the Columbia River Gorge was still getting blasted with problems.

On I-84, less than 20 miles past Troutdale, black ice was catching some drivers off-guard. KGWMeteorologist Nick Allard said that was no surprise to him as he had predicted especially tough conditions in the Gorge lasting much longer than Wednesday's early blast in the Portland Metro area.

The Gorge is going to see some active weather, especially east of Cascade Locks. Temperatures there are at or below freezing so the precipitation could fall as snow and wet snow and or some freezing rain, Allard said.

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The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Columbia River Gorgethrough 10 p.m. Wednesday, warning of light snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Back in Portland, the spokeswoman for the city transportation bureau, Cheryl Kuck, said Portland has 4,700 miles of roads. It plows/sands 1,300 miles of roads and applies anti-icing material to 600 miles of roads, bridges and overpasses. She cautioned that any significant amount of rain or freezing rain will just wash the anti-icing chemical away.

Rain was also in the forecast for Thursday and Friday in the Portland and Vancouver Metro areas.


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(KGWReporter Amy Troy contributed to this report)

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