December 8, 2013, 4 p.m.
Monday morning commuters can expect packed ice and snow on most Eugene streets.
Eugene Public Works crews will continue working through the night, but if overnight lows approach Sunday’s -10 degree mark, crews likely will be limited to sanding priority routes to provide additional traction.
“When temperatures drop that low, deicer doesn’t work,” said Incident Commander Eric Johnson. “Our rubber-tipped plow blades can’t cut through the ice, and even spreading sand is a challenge.”
Crews have been working round-the-clock since 4:30 a.m. Friday, when a major snowstorm and arctic cold front slammed into Eugene, prompting the City of Eugene to declare an ice-snow emergency. The ice-snow emergency remains in effect. Public Works officials will evaluate conditions on Monday to determine if the snow emergency can be lifted. Until then, parking is prohibited on priority routes. A map showing these routes can be viewed at www.eugene-or.gov/snow.
During the day Sunday, crews plowed and sanded priority routes with a focus on streets in the southeast hills. Crews also responded to clear catch basins and apply sand in the vicinity of several EWEB water main breaks, including a flooding incident near Fourth Avenue and Polk Street. Since the incident began, Eugene has applied more than 300 cubic yards of sand to city streets. The Oregon Department of Transportation assisted Eugene by providing some highway sand from its stockpiles in the Eugene area.
With the likelihood of slippery roads and obscured travel lane markings on Monday morning, Johnson recommends that commuters leave plenty of time, stay well behind the car in front you, drive slowly and signal turns well in advance. “We’re working as hard as we can, and I know that a lot of streets are a challenge to drive. If you’ve got traction devices, this would be a good time to put them on.”