WAIT. IT'S STILL WINTER?
Just when you thought it was safe to plant your petunias ...
After weeks of weather that felt more like spring than winter, Mother Nature tossed a great big snowball at Lake Oswego this week. Snowflakes began falling in downtown Lake Oswego early Tuesday morning, took a break for the afternoon and then picked up again during the evening commute.
The resulting mess left area roadways clogged and dangerous. Multiple accidents and slippery conditions all but closed Highway 26 westbound near the Oregon Zoo as drivers tried to negotiate the Sylvan hill; same thing on West Burnside in Portland and on side streets just about everywhere.
Minor crashes were reported throughout the metro area early Wednesday, including several spin-outs and a crash on Interstate 205 near the Abernethy Bridge that briefly blocked the freeway. But Lake Oswego police reported no major crashes in the city and no road closures.
On Wednesday morning, LOPD Lt. Doug Treat said roads were slick but that the main arterials had been sanded. City officials said they also put down de-icer ahead of the storm and would use all available equipment to keep the city's main roads clear. Once those roads were addressed, they said, maintenance crews would focus on neighborhoods,
"No issues at this point," Treat told The Review, "and as the sun and temperatures go up, the roads should be even better."
TriMet canceled several routes Tuesday night and kept chains on all of its buses Wednesday morning, but there were no significant delays affecting rides into or out of Lake Oswego.
Officially, the Portland metro area received three and a half inches of snow in what was the first major winter storm of 2018. But flakes fell at a rate of almost two inches an hour in the higher elevations, blanketing some hilly locations with as much as seven inches.
And forecasters said there's a pretty good chance of more. According to the National Weather Service, an approaching storm was likley to coat the region with another inch of snow overnight Wednesday into Thursday before changing to a wintry mix for the weekend.
By Saturday, Lake Oswego should see only rain, with temperatures climbing back into the balmy 40s. But until then, forecasters said, area residents can expect lows in the 20s and commutes that could at times be dicey.
As a precaution, the Lake Oswego School District released students two hours early Tuesday and canceled classes completely on Wednesday — the first snow day for local students this year. Some of the area's largest districts, such as Portland and Beaverton, made the call to close schools Tuesday night, but the LOSD stuck to its policy of waiting until morning.
"We do not make the call about school start times until the morning," said Christine Moses, the district's executive director of communications. "If we have to use snow routes or close early, we will give you as much time as possible."
District officials urged parents in an email Monday night to review the LOSD's snow day procedures online at www.losdschools.org/Page/3684. Information on bus routes can also be found
All Lake Oswego city offices opened as usual Wednesday, although the Parks & Recreation Department canceled its programs and activities. Classes at the city's Tennis Center were also canceled, but the snow couldn't stop individual players from their appoint-
ed rounds: The Municipal
Golf course range and Tennis Center courts all opened on time.