ODOT crews preparing for winter storm expected tomorrow - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

ODOT crews preparing for winter storm expected tomorrow

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OREGON - ODOT crews in eastern and central Oregon are preparing for another winter storm expected to start tomorrow, creating challenging winter driving conditions over the next couple days.

The National Weather Service advised today that a moist Pacific front located over Oregon on Wednesday will bring widespread snow across eastern and central Oregon. Areas of light freezing rain or sleet may also develop in Central Oregon near Bend, Redmond, and Prineville. The front will slide south Wednesday night and will exit most of the region Thursday morning. From Thursday afternoon through the weekend...the main weather concerns will be the cold arctic air filtering down from western Canada. It will remain below freezing in all areas during this time.

Visit www.weather.gov/pendleton for weather updates.

During the height of the storm some areas are expected to see a foot or more of snow. ODOT plows will be out on the roadways 24/7. The amount of snowfall will likely result in slick conditions, limited visibility and traffic delays.

ODOT recommends motorists consider delaying travel when conditions are severe. If you must drive in these conditions be extra prepared and check TripCheck.com before hitting the road:

  • Be ready to use your chains. Be patient. Go slow.
  • Expect a long commute that could last hours. You never know when weather or traffic incidents will cause the road to be closed for extended periods.
  • Along with snow and slick conditions, expect visibility to be limited.
  • Make sure your wipers, headlights, turn signals, heater, etc. are in good working order.
  • Keep fuel tank full (in case you get stuck in road closure).
  • Keep cell phone charged.
  • Avoid following GPS navigation directions onto remote or unfamiliar roadways if detoured off of the main highway. Most routes not considered main highways are not maintained in winter conditions.
  • Carry emergency supplies (water, food, warm clothes, flashlight, etc.)
  • Increase the following distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Use extra caution and keep safety in mind when installing tire chains along the side of the roadway. Other drivers may not be able to see you clearly.
  • Drive according to conditions of the road, regardless of posted speed limits.
  • Don't abandon your vehicle, even in the shoulders. It could be towed at your expense.
  • Keep a watch on weather conditions throughout the day in anticipation of the next snow storm which could make current road conditions worse.

For additional resources on winter driving and preparedness check out ODOT’s Winter Roadway Guide at www.tinyurl.com/odot-region5.