PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland area is preparing for another winter storm. Some dread the possibility of the city freezing to a halt.

It’s just 12 days until Christmas and retailers hope the snow storm does not cut in to their holiday sales.

“This is a really stressful time of year for businesses,” said Lisa Frisch with the Portland Business Alliance. “This is the make-or-break time for them. So every shopping day counts.”

Frisch expects most downtown stores will stay open through Wednesday’s storm unless it’s so bad no one can travel.

“We have hotels, we have 24/7 business down here, people live downtown, we have some essential services located here,” she said.

Out on the roads, highway workers took advantage of dry weather Tuesday.

“We actually have this hiatus between the storms right now which really gives us an opportunity to do a couple things,” said Don Hamilton with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

“We're de-icing. We’re putting a lot of deicer on the road. We're also sweeping up the gravel, the sand, that we've been putting on the road the last couple of days,” he said.

School district administrators are thinking hard about the forecast and their options for Wednesday morning.

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“It’s tricky because you do not want to call it off then have the day be okay and have everyone saying, you know, what’s going on?” said Courtney Wilton, the Chief Operating Officer for Portland Public Schools.

“You also don’t want to have all the kids come in then have to do some type of early release because that’s very inconvenient for parents,” he said.

Wilton will decide if 49,000 children will go to school Wednesday. It’s not an easy decision.

“Well, its nerve wracking, because you want to make the right decision. A lot of people are counting on you. Our preference is to have school. I mean that's why we're here. And kids need instruction so we want to have the schools open. There are times when it just isn’t practical,” he said.

Wilton will make his decision at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.