PORTLAND, Ore. — Major highways across Oregon have all reopened, according to a late Wednesday afternoon news release from the Oregon Department of Transportation, but drivers should still be prepared for winter conditions and unexpected delays.
A major snowstorm in the Cascades and Columbia River Gorge led to multiple freeway closures earlier this week, some of which persisted into Wednesday.
A 50-mile stretch of Interstate 84 in Eastern Oregon between Pendleton and La Grande reopened just before 5 p.m., ODOT reported, after being closed for most of the day due to multiple disabled vehicles.
The westbound lanes of I-84 three miles west of Baker City were also closed Wednesday morning because of disabled vehicles, and all westbound lanes of the freeway were closed to trucks three miles west of Ontario due to multiple vehicles sliding off the road. Those stretches had all reopened by the evening, according to ODOT's TripCheck map.
Conditions remained "unsettled" across much of Oregon as of Wednesday evening, ODOT reported, including the mountain passes. The agency urged drivers to make sure they had emergency supplies for winter weather such as food, blankets and a full tank of fuel.
ODOT crews are working extended schedules to maintain traffic flow, the agency said, but maintenance teams are experiencing staff shortages that could lead to reduced coverage in some isolated areas.
Ski slopes reopen
Mt. Hood Meadows, Timberline and Ski Bowl reopened to skiers and snowboarders on Wednesday morning. The resorts were closed for part of the week while the storm brought several feet of snow to areas around Mt. Hood.
Timberline Lodge has had about 40 inches of snow in the past three days. Mt. Hood Meadows has received nearly 230 inches of snow since mid-December, with nearly 5 feet of snow over the past four days.
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) asked people to avoid traveling on roads that could be impacted by severe weather.
"We have severe weather advisories, watches and warnings all over the state, including threats of flooding caused by heavy rain and snowmelt," said OEM Director Andrew Phelps in a news release on Wednesday morning. "This can trigger debris flows and landslides in steep terrain, and the risk is higher in wildfire burn scars. We need to take winter weather hazards seriously and make good decisions to reduce our risk of being stuck on snow-covered roads or trapped by floodwaters."