Freezing rain on tap and then 'it's a slow thaw,' Shelby says

Freezing rain on tap and then 'it's a slow thaw,' Shelby says

PORTLAND, Ore. – As the Portland metro area struggled beneath a thick coat of snow and ice Sunday, relief was in sight -- but it will take a while.

After the National Weather Service canceled a freezing rain advisory Sunday afternoon, meteorologists renewed the advisory for Monday morning, between 4 and noon. They said the main threat will be on the east side of the metro area, including the Interstate 205 bridge.

Up to 1/10 of an inch of ice is expected Monday morning, which will make the already-messy roads more hazardous, according to the National Weather Service.

The good news is that temperatures should gradually warm up, with temperatures expected to peak Monday at 43.

Still, KATU meteorologist Rhonda Shelby said it could be until Tuesday or Wednesday until all the snow and ice is melted.

“I can’t guarantee that all the schools will be open tomorrow,” Shelby said. “It may be a couple days until we’re out of the woods.”

Shelby said rainfall over the next 24 hours will not be heavy enough to wash away 6 to 12 inches of snow.

"It's a slow thaw," she said. "It's going to be hanging around -- fairly decent amounts -- until Tuesday."

Around town Sunday, the icy weather had all but shut down the city. MAX service was halted, with only 15 trains slowly carrying the few folks out and about.

The city of Portland issued a text alert to citizens, strongly urging them to stay indoors and avoid travel.

The ice also contributed to a number of outages throughout the area. Hundreds of customers were without power in Multnomah, Marion, Polk and Washington counties, with more than 1,000 without power in Clackamas County.

Here's what you need to know for the tail end of this storm:


Winter driving tips from ODOT

If severe winter conditions arrive, ODOT says it will deploy all available tools in its winter arsenal, including plows, sanders and deicers, as appropriate. Here are some tips for travelers should an icy winter storm strike.

  •     No one can safely drive on ice. If roads get icy, consider not driving or delaying your trip until the weather warms and the ice thaws.
  •     In ice or snow, allow plenty of stopping distance and watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists because stopping distances are so much longer.
  •     ODOT sand trucks, plows and deicer trucks can’t clear roads clogged with traffic. The more traffic stays off the road, the quicker roads can be treated.
  •     Consider leaving the driving to the professionals and taking mass transit. Consider walking, riding a bike, working from home or taking the day off until the roads are clear.
  •     Don’t abandon a vehicle in heavy traffic. This delays emergency responders, prevents plows and other maintenance equipment from getting through.


Frozen Pipes

People living in Portland with no running water at home should call the Portland Water Bureau’s 24/7 Emergency Hotline at 503-823-4874.

If you think your pipes are frozen, the Water Bureau recommends turning on faucets throughout the home. If some work and others don’t, there may be a frozen pipe.

To thaw your pipes safely, the Water Bureau recommends using a hair dryer or heat lamp; never use an open flame. Once the pipe has thawed, leave a small amount of water running so it doesn’t freeze again.