Wilsonville endures snow storms in fine form

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - SMART buses like this one on Town Center Loop Friday morning were kept in operation despite the weather. Wilsonville Police reported few commuting problems Friday, which was a relief for a city heavily dependent on Interstate 5. “They wiped us out,” Wilsonville Lamb’s Thriftway store manager Mike DiPari said Friday morning in the aftermath of Thursday evening’s snowstorm that pummeled the Portland metro area.

“Yesterday was a strong day, I’m sure for the all grocery stores in Wilsonville, and that includes us and all the stores in our company,” DiPari said. “Water goes big here in Wilsonville, firewood of course, DuraFlame logs, batteries, those kinds of things. People anticipate the power going out.”

In all, people seemed to heed common sense and stick the basics, he added, even as round two of the snowstorm was beginning to drop small, dry flakes on Wilsonville and other south metro communities.

“Milk, we sold a lot of milk, I guess you’d call them staples,” he said. “Bread, the bread isle was wiped out. So people just get prepared for spending a few days at home. There have been times where you can get stuck; people get stuck at work, people can’t get into work, that kind of stuff.”

Meanwhile, out on the city’s streets, Wilsonville Public Works Department crews were working extended 12-hour shifts to keep the city’s main arterial routes clear of the dry, drifting snow that accumulated over Thursday night.

“Right now we’re going to have two guys come in for the next four nights in the row,” public works supervisor Arnie Gray told the Spokesman Thursday evening. “Depending on the weather, they’ll be working 12-hour shifts from seven to seven, and during the daytime most guys will be here, so whoever can run the plow or sanders we’ll have more staffing here.”

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Traffic was light Friday morning on the Wilsonville Road.

Traffic light Friday

The streets Friday morning were mostly clear in Wilsonville, with public works trucks cruising around looking for trouble spots along with police cruisers. SMART buses continued to operate with chains, keeping to the roads to help people get to and from work in spite of the weather, which looked set to dump a second load of snow on the region Friday afternoon.

People also used old-fashioned, tried and true methods to get around. Cross country skis, snow shoes, tobaggans and more all could be seen on the streets Friday. Murase Plaza, meanwhile, was filled with kids and their parents. The former were typically yelling with excitement as snowballs flew and sleds, tobaggans and snowboards flew down the gentle park slopes.

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF: TVF&R - A Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue firefighter helps put chains on one of the agency's fire engines during last weekend's snow storm. And everywhere you looked, emergency crews were operating at full tilt.

At noon Thursday, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue's Central Beaverton Station 67 and 20 other fire stations in the District began chaining up their trucks, fire engines and medic units in preparation for the coming storm. Good thing, too, because within an hour of chaining up their vehicles crews began to receive calls for assistance related to the weather. Captain Kraig Moisan from Station 67 in Beaverton said the first opportunity for his crews to return to their station came over six hours after that initial call for help.

Over 70 calls for assistance involved motorists who simply ran out of fuel. More seriously, fire crews responded to 49 motor-vehicle crashes between noon-11 p.m. Thursday.

According to TVF & R, Moisan’s station alone logged 18 medical calls, three fires and six vehicle crashes Thursday afternoon and evening. Moisan himself even helped deliver a baby en route to St. Vincent Providence Hospital following yet another call for assistance around 2 a.m. this morning.

With a smile on his face and having just brought a new life into the world, Captain Moisan and his crews ended their busy 24-hour shift at 7:00 this morning.

“I just talked to my 2-year-old daughter on the phone,” Moisan said after completing his shift. “She wants me to make her pancakes when I get home.”

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - There were plenty of kids hard at play at Murase Plaza in Wilsonville Friday, including 6-year-old Hegan Foster of Wilsonville, shown here.

Buying in moderation

When it comes to food, DiPari said, this latest snow scare resulted in little, if any, panic buying at the four stores in the Lamb's chain.

“Having a few years under my belt in this business we know when this stuff happens to start planning early,” he said. “When there’s a snow scare, I’ve seen stores go completely empty almost in a matter of hours. It wasn’t quite that bad, people seem to be better about buying in moderation, it wasn’t panic buying, it was just making sure they have a few things.”

There was more good news Friday morning. Commuters largely stayed put, leaving the roads relatively clear of traffic. Those who did venture out were well-behaved, according to Wilsonville Police.

“WilsonvillePD patrol officers report very light commute and few problems,” the department’s Twitter feed read at 8:58 a.m. “Thanks to everyone using common sense and being careful.”

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Talia Valdez,8, slides down a slide in the snow at River Fox Park in Wilsonville. On the roads it helped that all West Linn-Wilsonville School District schools were closed for the day, along with city of Wilsonville offices, the Wilsonville Public Library and the Wilsonville Community Center. All Clackamas Community College campuses were also shuttered for the day and activities canceled.

While the weather is forecast to warm up by Monday, that could bring a whole new set of problems, Gray said.

“I’m sure no matter what we’ll do it’s never enough, there’s always a bit of pointing fingers, but that’s okay, it’s always fun to ramp up for operations,” Gray said. “But I hate the snow events myself, you have the cleanup afterward, the plows, then you have snow in the gutters. It won’t go down catch basins, it definitely adds a whole new set of problems to the situation.”

But at least that means the mercury is above the freezing level.

At a Glance:

Stay Prepared:

TVF&R has two important safety messages:

1. If you experience a medical emergency, don't delay, call 9-1-1 right away. Driving yourself or a loved one to the emergency room during a medical emergency, especially in inclement weather, may delay their care and put others in jeopardy.

2. As additional weather systems move through the area bringing more snow into the weekend, check out our winter safety tips at to stay safe on the road, outside, and at home. Also, please remember to check on elderly neighbors who may be more impacted by cold temperatures or housebound.

For more information visit

Garbage Services Delayed:

According to Clackamas County officials, garbage services around the county were cancelled Friday and will be rescheduled.

When service resumes, garbage collection will be the first priority, so it should be left out in the usual location. If collection must be postponed, residents should put the additional garbage in plastic bags.

· Recycling collection could be postponed to the following week and may be delayed even later if trucks are needed to catch up on garbage pick-up. Residents are asked to hold back recycling until collection is back to normal, and not to put out recycling in plastic bags.

· Yard debris collection could also be postponed. Hold back yard debris until collection is back to normal. If your cart is full, put extra yard debris in paper lawn/leaf bags or a 32-gallon can labeled yard debris.

For more information contact Rick Winterhalter, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You can find contact information about your garbage hauler at

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