CLOSURES AND DELAYS
Hood River Co. Sheriff's Office: Hood River Sheriff's Office warns Gorge residents and travelers to prepare now for a significant ice storm event through in the Gorge. National Weather Service (NWS) has high confidence there is a significant, prolonged freezing rain event - with major ice accumulation (1/2 - 2 inches) across the Columbia Gorge and Hood River valley starting early morning (1/17,) lasting through Wed. afternoon. Western Gorge areas will be hardest hit - Stevenson, Cascade Locks - forecasted to get ice accumulation of 1-2 inches. The storm is expected to start early () morning, extending into Wed afternoon in the Gorge and to eastern Oregon. There is significant risk for ice damage to trees, causing falling trees, treacherous road conditions, possible loss of utilities and damage to structures in Hood River County and across Gorge communities, There is no near term ice or snow melt weather in the forecast. The inversion will continue - meaning, it will get or stay warmer at higher altitudes, while remaining near freezing or below freezing at lower Gorge altitudes. In the Cascades, the freezing level will retreat to 8,000 feet but due to high snow pack they do not forecast a significant rain on snow melting event. A key concern for Gorge residents will be transportation impacts, property safety, utility interruption and freezing pipes. Unfortunately there is no temperature relief in sight for the lower altitude Gorge areas - temps are forecasted to remain at or below freezing through , according to NWS. The Portland area will also be hit by freezing rain and ice for Tues am commute - but not nearly as significant or as prolonged as the Gorge.