Snow, whiteout conditions close I-84 through Columbia River Gorge

Posted on in category Local tagged Commuting , Winter
Winter driving conditions have forced the closure of I-84. Find out more here.

Blowing snow and whiteout conditions on Monday forced the closure of Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge from Troutdale to Hood River.

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed the roadway in both directions before 5 a.m. as multiple crashes occurred between mileposts 17 and 64.

The closure could be lengthy. The National Weather Service has the gorge — including Parkdale, Carson, the Hood River Valley and Odell — under a winter storm warning through 4 p.m. Heavy snow is expected, especially above 1,500 feet elevation.

Numerous schools through the gorge have closed for the day or on delayed start. Check our complete list of weather-related closures here: oregonlive.com/weather/page/oregon_school_closures_delays.html

Portland has escaped snow, but heavy rain created hazardous driving conditions across the metro area. The Marine Drive onramp to Interstate 5 southbound has been closed because of high water. Southeast Powell Boulevard is closed in both directions between 174th and 181st avenues for downed power lines, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is warning of high water on roads throughout the county because of recent rains and melting ice and snow.

Weather has also closed numerous routes in eastern Oregon. I-84 is closed to all traffic in both directions between exit 216 (6 miles east of Pendleton) and Baker City exit 302. The westbound freeway is closed to trucks and through traffic in Ontario at exit 374, according to ODOT.

Numerous other routes are closed, including Oregon routes 245, 204, 11, 74, 331, 334, 335, and other highways. Many city and county routes are closed. ODOT is advising all motorist in the Umatilla County area to stay home, as most state routes in that area are closed because of high winds, white-out conditions and numerous snow drifts across roadways. A recent ODOT release said conditions are so extreme that snowplow drivers cannot see the road well enough to effectively plow.