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Plenty of snow gives Lake Oswegans pause

by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Jack Csaszar gives his sister, Avery Csaszar, and Will Albers a push down the slope while sledding Monday at the Our Lady of the Lake School playground.Even though last week’s snowfall was predicted, most area residents were unprepared for the intensity of the storm that dumped anywhere from 6 to 9 inches in the Lake Oswego area. Many took advantage of the situation and enjoyed snow days.

The storm, which began early last Thursday afternoon, caused the evening’s commute to be dangerous and long. Many throughout the Portland metro area chose to use TriMet after the onset of the storm. Even with chained buses, TriMet reported that four of the five bus routes serving the Lake Oswego area were altered by the storm. Line 78, which runs between Beaverton and Lake Oswego, was the most affected with detours in place Thursday through Monday. Line 35, which runs from Lake Oswego to downtown Portland and beyond, was detoured Saturday when the storm was at its worst. Line 38, which serves the Boones Ferry Road area, was detoured Friday and Line 36, serving the South Shore area, was detoured Monday.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: MELISSATOMEONI.COM - Melissa Tomeoni caught her son Coles dubious expression when taking this photo of his encounter over the weekend with a snowwoman in Lake Oswego.

Because of the poor road conditions, Lake Oswego schools were closed Friday and Monday. School also let out early last Thursday, although buses ran on regular routes, not snow routes. School district officials canceled all activities and athletics from Thursday afternoon to Monday evening, including weekend events such as ACT testing at Lakeridge High School and the Lake Oswego High School auction.

Kelleigh Bradley, administrative support for Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department, reported that classes scheduled Friday and through the weekend were canceled.

“We cancel if school is closed,” Bradley said. “Monday we canceled morning classes, but left it up to the instructor if they wanted to teach evening classes.”

Lake Oswego Public Works Director Guy Graham reported that city crews began plowing and sanding streets Thursday and covered more than 1,300 miles of roads throughout the weekend.

“Putting that in Super Bowl terms, that is the same as driving from Seattle to Denver,” he said. The department logged more than 540 staff hours on plowing and spread more than 400 cubic feet of rock on the roads — the equivalent of 40 10-yard dump trucks.

“I think they did a remarkable job,” he said. “I’m proud of our team and the work we do. I think most residents are satisfied with our work.”

Crews have begun the process of sweeping streets and collecting the rock that was dumped. It will take several weeks to complete this task.

According to Gert Zoutendijk, Lake Oswego fire marshal, damage from the storm resulted mainly in broken water pipes, including one late Monday afternoon on Upper Cherry Lane that caused a landslide into a property on Meadow Drive. See related story on page A17.

Several calls were received Sunday regarding broken pipes, including a fire sprinkler system and water line in an apartment complex.

“We probably had six or seven water lines break,” Zoutendijk said.

In addition, the fire department made modified responses to some calls. Instead of using the fire engine, crews chained up a smaller, four-wheel drive vehicle that could maneuver better in the snow and ice. In some instances, those in need of medical assistance were transported in the smaller vehicle from their home to an AMR ambulance.

Road conditions were slick all over town; one of the Southshore fire trucks got stuck in the heavy snow not once, but twice.

“They slip and slide just like everybody else,” Zoutendijk said. “But we didn’t have anything that caused major damage.”

Lake Oswego Police Sgt. Tom Hamann said the storm didn’t represent anything too much out of the ordinary for police.

“There wasn’t really anything spectacular for us,” Hamann said. “It was kind of the run-of-the-mill hazards, and, for the most part, it wasn’t anything too much out of the ordinary, other than the landslide (Monday). Of course we had the usual crashes here and there, but the roads were fairly empty a lot of the time.”

Hamann thought that was because drivers were encouraged to stay home by his office and the media.

“I think they actually listened,” he said.by: REVIEW  PHOTO: MARTIN FORBES - A snowy Sunday afternoon offers a perfect setting for this oil painter who was plying his craft below Millennium Plaza Park along Lakewood Bay.

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