From ODOT: All westbound lanes of Interstate 84 are now open between Hood River and Troutdale. Eastbound lanes remain closed with no estimated time for re-opening.
A single vehicle rollover crash on Interstate 84 just east of Bonneville Dam on Thursday afternoon claimed the life of a Stevenson man. According to the Oregon State Police, a pickup driven by 70-year-old Timothy Ashe was traveling eastbound at about 2 p.m. on Thursday when it lost traction on packed snow and ice, struck the concrete center barrier, slid across both eastbound lanes and hit an embankment causing the vehicle to roll over. Ashe was ejected from the vehicle, sustained critical injuries, and was pronounced deceased at the scene. His passenger, 67 year old Shawne Boardeaux-Ashe, sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene and released. The OSP says preliminary information indicates speed and safety restraint use as possible factors contributing to the crash and resulting fatality. I-84 was reduced to one lane of travel for approximately four hours as the investigation was completed.
A North Wasco County School District 21 bus slid into a fence at the Wahtonka campus on Thursday afternoon. D-21 officials say the bus slid into the fence after avoiding a car that cut in front of the bus. No were injuries were sustained by students or the bus driver in the accident. The bus had minor windshield and outside mirror damage. The accident occurred at about 3:45 Thursday afternoon.
Columbia Gorge Dance Academy’s Scenes from the Nutcracker performances today at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Hood River Middle School Auditorium will take place as scheduled.
Hood River County Library will be open today from 2:00pm-6:00pm, weather permitting. Cascade Locks, and Parkdale branches will be closed, due to inclement weather.
A significant winter storm is on its way to the Gorge, with the National Weather Service calling for the storm to arrive sometime Thursday morning and bring a large amount of snow to the region, along with strong east winds in the western portion of the Gorge. The National Weather Service’s winter storm watch for Hood River and the Central Gorge calls for five to ten inches of snow, with ice accumulations possible Thursday night and Friday, plus gusty east winds of up to 70 miles per hour from the Cascade Locks and Stevenson area westward causing blowing and drifting snow and limited visibility for travel. In The Dalles and the Eastern Gorge snow is expected as well, with an east wind of 15 miles per hour with gusts to 25, and the snow changing to freezing rain late Thursday night and early Friday as a warm front overrides cold air at the surface. Temperatures are expected to be in the twenties, perhaps dipping to the teens in the Central Gorge.
With the winter storm approaching, road crews around the region are gearing up for trying to keep roads clear. Priorities for road plowing are essentially the same throughout the region, starting with high traffic volume roads and school bus routes, followed by remaining paved roads, then subdivision, cul-de-sac, and outlying dwellings on gravel roads. The Oregon Department of Transportation says crews have started working 12-hour, round the clock shifts. On Tuesday and Wednesday, crews were spreading de-icer, magnesium chloride with rust inhibitor, on area roads with plows and sanding trucks on standby for use as needed. ODOT adds it will closely monitor Interstate 84 through the Gorge, and would close the freeway if conditions become unsafe. Nighttime warming shelters will be available in the region, with The Dalles Warming Place at St. Vincent dePaul on 315 West 3rd from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and the Hood River Warming Shelter at Hood River Valley Christian Church on 975 Indian Creek Road from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The Oregon Department of Transportation does not recommend driving in severe weather conditions, but the agency also says travelers need to use caution and observe a few common sense rules for navigating hazardous weather conditions. Most important is to get to your destination before conditions turn nasty and unsafe, consider waiting until a storm passes to travel, and if you must drive look out for others and allow plenty of time to get where you are going. Don’t abandon your vehicle, as it prevents crews from clearing the road and emergency services from getting to the people who need them. If a storm knocks out power to traffic signals, treat intersections like an all-way stop. And watch for plows, being sure to stay at least three car lengths back.
Area power providers are bracing themselves for potential outages due to the expected winter storm in the region. Pacific Power encourages its customers to first check their fuses and circuit breakers if there is an outage, then if they find it was caused outside their home to call and report it. Pacific Power also advises people to stay away from and don’t drive over downed power lines and utility lines, check on neighbors, especially those who may need special assistance, and keep mobile devices charged so they may be used in an emergency. Also turn on your porch light, as after crews complete repairs, they patrol the area of the power failure to see if lights are on. In addition, every home should have an emergency outage kit that includes a flashlight, battery-operated radio and clock, extra batteries, non-perishable foods, manual can opener, bottled water, and blankets.
The Dalles 85, Columbia 69: The Riverhawks gained their first win of the season.
Heritage 61, Hood River Valley 42: The Timberwolves used a stifling defense to shut down the Eagle offense and grab the win.
Stevenson 70, Goldendale 51
Life Christian 53, Horizon Christian 41
Heritage 44, Hood River Valley 39: The Timberwolves snapped a 39-39 tie in the final minute to grab the win. Lauren Orr scored 13 points for HRV, while Emily Curtis added 11.
Goldendale 64, Stevenson 35
The Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue Volunteer Association, Dallesport Fire District, The Salvation Army, and St. Vincent dePaul will be conducting the 2016 Project ELFF (Everyone Loves a Fire Fighter) canned food drive this week in The Dalles. Fire trucks will be out and collecting canned food donations on the east side of The Dalles Tuesday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. They will move to the west side of The Dalles Wednesday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and finish up in Dallesport Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is the 30th year for the Project ELFF canned food drive, with donations going to food banks in The Dalles and Dallesport.