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Highway 58 opens as crews continue clearing roads

The massive snowstorm brought down at least 1,000 trees and downed power lines along the highway.

Posted: Mar 1, 2019 7:25 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2019 7:26 PM

OAKRIDGE, Ore. -- After nearly five days of being shut down, traffic is moving again on Highway 58, but the work is far from over.

The massive snowstorm brought down at least 1,000 trees and downed power lines along the highway.

It is now safe for travel, but the mess on the highway's shoulders has to be picked up. 

Willamette National Forest spokesperson Chiara Cipriano said they're a big concern ahead of fire season.

She said the problem is the fallen trees dry out and burn easily. That's why it's a big priority to clear them before fire season.

"We are always thinking ahead to the fire season," Cipriano said.

She said forest service, state, county and city crews have been working to clear the fallen trees all week. 

Now that the highway is open, they'll work to clear the side roads.

"A lot of the side roads have 200 to 1,000 trees down per mile," Cipriano said.

She said those roads may be closed for months.

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