Extremely icy conditions made travel very difficult below the bo - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Extremely icy conditions made travel very difficult below the border

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OREGON - The freezing rain and icy conditions have been tough on the roadways all across our area these past couple of days, especially in northeastern Oregon.

Some people we spoke with said they gave up and just decided to head back home because it was so bad out there. Reporter Rex Carlin went out to find out just how bad the roads were south of the border.

It took him almost two hours to get from Kennewick to Umatilla via the Wallula Junction route; a trip that would usually take less than an hour. But icy conditions, semi trucks, and a complete stoppage on the highway meant driving in Oregon yesterday was no walk in the park. 

A whole list of highways were closed in Oregon yesterday morning, including both directions of I-82 from the state line to I-84. It opened back up last night, but even with roads being open, the danger on Oregon's highways are still there.

"A lot of people are just flat out stopped, and everyone's relaying the message that they're making everyone put chains on," said Marie Erickson, who commutes from Walla Walla to Hermiston. "I don't have chains. I got good tires, but no chains."

Erickson was stopped along US 730 today, trying to get to Hermiston as trucks had to put chains on to continue. The delay was too much for her, and she, like many others on area roads this week, turned around to head back home to Walla Walla. But the highway itself on a sliver of land between the hillside and the mighty Columbia River had her concerned as well.

"It's right here along this railroad track and this little mountainside. It's very hazardous," she said.

After Erickson headed back to Walla Walla, 730 opened up once again...but those icy roads in the area still proved dangerous and slowed the highway down to around 30 miles per hour from the state line all the way to I-82 yesterday.

Definitely plan out which route you intend on taking over the next couple days to make sure not only that the road is open, but that there are ways to detour off that road if it seems too dangerous or if they close it after you've started driving.

To check road conditions in Washington, you can click here.

To check road conditions in Oregon, you can click here.

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