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The Forest Grove, Banks and Vernonia school districts have canceled classes.

STAFF PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Snow, seen here in downtown Forest Grove and on the campus of Pacific University, was blamed for multiple crashes Tuesday morning.

Snow showers that returned to western Washington County on Tuesday morning, Feb. 20, and a forecast for more winter weather on the way have prompted the Forest Grove and Banks school districts, as well as Portland Community College, to cancel classes.

Some commuters Tuesday morning may have been surprised to find snow coming down across Washington County as they headed to work.

The National Weather Service advised Monday night that snowfall later in the day could potentially snare the evening commute.

But with overnight low temperatures well below freezing and snow flurries starting before dawn, accumulation — albeit in small amounts as of 7:20 a.m. Tuesday — wasn't waiting until the afternoon or evening in western Washington County. A light patina of snow had developed even on major routes like Southwest Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley highways and Pacific Avenue in Forest Grove before 7 a.m. Tuesday.

The Forest Hills Lutheran Christian School, a private school south of Cornelius, is also closed Tuesday. North of the Banks area, the Vernonia School District canceled classes as well.

There were no delays in the Gaston School District, but the district announced just after 10 a.m. that it will close at noon. All Gaston school buses are on snow routes Tuesday.

The Hillsboro School District announced it will close early, with high schools releasing at 11 a.m., middle schools at 11:15 a.m., and elementary schools staggered after noon. It placed school buses in Zones 1, 2, 9 and 10 on snow routes.

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue said it responded to separate non-injury crashes that temporarily blocked Northwest Martin Road as well as B Street at Highway 47 on Tuesday morning.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office reported crashes throughout the county.

County buildings closed at noon. Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center also closed all its clinics in the county early.

Pacific University closed all its Portland-area campuses at noon, including in Forest Grove and Hillsboro. They will remain closed Wednesday, the university said.

According to KOIN 6 News, the News-Times' weather partner, at least one to three inches of snow is expected Tuesday afternoon, with as much as half a foot through the evening, in the Portland metro area.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new closure information and updated weather forecasts.COURTESY PHOTO: WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - A Washington County Sheriff's Office vehicle out of Cornelius responds to a crash Tuesday morning.


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