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The original item was published from 12/6/2013 4:25:00 PM to 12/6/2013 4:27:03 PM.

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Posted on: December 5, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Update on ice-snow emergency in Eugene

December 6, 2013

There are more crashes being reported. The public is advised that if they don’t need to travel, to stay home. There have been 160 crashes reported to 9-1-1 from 4 a.m. through 2 p.m., which highlights the risks.

If you do have to go out, please use extreme caution. For the homeward commute, stick to flat routes and avoid hills and on ramps if you can.
There are some streets that should be avoided:


There are some areas that should be avoided:

• Chambers from 24th to the top of the Hill
• 28th – Almaden to Chambers
• Ferry Street Bridge
• Willamette from 32nd Avenue to 35th
• Off ramp from 6th Avenue to I-105

28th and Chamber (Almaden) is not currently open to traffic - 28th is shut down from Chambers to Almaden as several vehicles are stuck in the snow. There were several crashes blocking traffic. They are working on a plow truck. There was one crash with a commercial truck into a car and tree. These so far have been slow speed crashes, where vehicles are slipping or sliding, with collisions into other vehicles or objects.

Willamette from 32nd to 35th is shut down also.

Ferry Street Bridge (7th to Coburg is closed). At issue is the on-ramp from Mill and W. 7th to northbound Ferry Street Bridge. There is sander enroute. Some of the vehicles are unable to go up the ramp, which is causing traffic to back up onto 7th.

Be advised that Beltline is also very messy right now.

Meanwhile, Eugene Public Works Working Around the Clock to Remove Snow
Eleven active crews from Eugene Public Works are currently operating plows and sanders and managing other aspects of the ice-snow emergency in Eugene. A second shift is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. today and work through the night, and plans are currently under way to evaluate ongoing operations until the situation is stabilized.
As of 3 p.m. today, more than 6 inches of snow has fallen on the valley floor, and continued freezing temperatures and an additional 1 to 2 inches of snow are in the overnight forecast. Because local roadways were frozen before the snow hit, almost all the snow that falls remains on streets unless it is plowed off.
“Nothing is melting,” said Incident Commander Jeff Lankston.
Since activating the Emergency Command Center at 4:30 a.m. today, crews have spread 110 cubic yards of sand and 1,100 gallons of liquid deicer. A total of seven plows and sanders are currently in operation, focusing primarily on the main thoroughfares such as Sixth and Seventh avenues and the Chambers Connector.
As of 3 p.m. today, most of the city’s priority 1 routes have been plowed and sanded. However, snow continues to fall, and crews often have to replow streets to clear fresh accumulations of snow. The continuing snowfall also tends to make sanding and deicing operations less effective, and the main emphasis at this time is on plowing streets.
A formal ice-snow emergency was declared in Eugene at 6 a.m. today and will remain in effect until further notice. The formal declaration of an ice-snow emergency means that parking or abandoning vehicles is prohibited along priorty routes. To view a map of priority routes, go to www.eugene-or.gov/snow.
More than 160 vehicle crashes and numerous abandoned vehicles have resulted in the temporary closure of several streets, including 28th Avenue from Chambers to Almaden streets and Willamette Street from 32nd to 35th avenues. Drivers are advised to avoid steep hills such as 30th Avenue, particularly if their vehicles are not equipped with four-wheel drive. Drivers should be prepared to use alternate routes if streets are closed.
Community members can call 541-682-4800 if they have questions about the ice-snow emergency. Please be advised that all available resources are currently being deployed, and it may not be possible to respond to calls on non-priority routes.

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Cold or rainy weather driving tips

• If it is icy out and you don't have to travel, stay home
• Slow down
• Leave plenty of driving distance, don't accelerate quickly and don't brake abruptly
• Drive defensively and cautiously – your eyes should be looking ahead and down the road so you can see conditions and traffic and will be able to react appropriately and calmly
• Even if you have a green light, check to see you are safe proceeding through the intersection. There may be vehicles sliding into the intersection, without the ability to stop due to road conditions and unsafe driving
• If you have an outside temperature gauge in your car, check it from time to time (These gauges are inexpensive and available at stores locally)
• Drive as though you can't rely on your brakes
• Be aware that road conditions can change quickly as the temperature drops
• The surface on overpasses and bridges freeze faster so be cautious
• Remove all ice on windshields, windows, headlights and tail lights prior to driving to ensure adequate visibility, and make sure the vehicle’s windshield is defrosted
• Carry chains or traction devices if it is going to snow
• Check your tire pressure. It should be at least at the level recommended by the manufacturer. As the temperature drops, so does tire pressure
• Turn headlights on
• If you crash, carefully evaluate the situation from inside your vehicle. Don't immediately get out because it is possible other vehicles might also be crashing near you. Don't stand between moving traffic and your vehicle. Use a flare, hazard lights or other signaling device to warn other drivers of the crash
• Four-wheel drive vehicles and all-wheel drive vehicles are great at accelerating, but in snow or ice that doesn't help you stop or turn.
• Don’t use cruise control in freezing, near freezing, or rainy conditions. The powered wheels can lose traction. In freezing weather, be especially careful on overpasses and bridges.

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