WILLAMETTE PASS, Ore. — The Cascades passes were blanketed in white Monday and Tuesday. Willamette Pass got about 18 inches and Santiam Pass around 28 inches.
Just last week, the area near Willamette Pass was experiencing relatively warm and dry weather, but that all changed come Sunday night when the temperatures dropped below freezing and the snow came falling down.
“It’s been pretty busy, hectic, keeping us all going,” said Danny King, ODOT Traffic Maintenance.
ODOT crews worked non-stop over the past few days to keep the roads clear as best as they could, but a clear path is just half the battle.
“WhenIi put my chains on, it was pretty average, but it’s gonna get harder and slippery-er,” said truck driver Duane Williams.
Williams had quite the ride trying to get back over to Goshen.
“The wind blows this fine powder off the trees and you can’t see. The road back along Odell Lake was so rough it damn near bounced me into the next lane,” said Williams.
For Williams and fellow drivers chains aren’t just the law, but possibly the difference between life and death on the slick roads.
“You see signs for chains required. This is like big problem because it’s very bad roads. This is my safety you know,” said truck driver Arthur Markosyan.
“It keeps us from killing people and ourselves. They’ve gotta be on. If not, you’re gonna slide a long way…I’m always glad to have the chains on,” said Williams.
The road conditions along the passes were rough for some Tuesday. Even ODOT said they had trouble over the last couple of days keeping the roads clear for cars and trucks to pass through. The conditions should improve as the weather begins to dry out the rest of the week.