SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch - Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

'Bomb cyclone' prompts closures on I-5 in Northern California, several Oregon highways

The effects of dropping snow levels and high winds are causing widespread and ongoing complications on our local roadways.

Posted: Nov 26, 2019 12:09 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2019 10:50 AM

YREKA, Calif. —

UPDATE: ODOT says Interstate 5 southbound at Ashland is open. Chains required all vehicles except 4x4s, unless towing. Expect slow-moving traffic and congestion until the back-up clears. Drive to the conditions. Expect winter driving conditions. Caltrans reports northbound Interstate 5 is still closed north of Redding to Yreka.

(Updated 11/27/19 at 8 a.m.)


UPDATE: ODOT says Oregon 138E, 62 and 230 are again open after blizzard conditions yesterday and last night. Be prepared for winter weather travel. Chains required on all vehicles, except 4x4s unless towing.

ODOT says southbound US97 at Oregon - California border is open, though northbound US97 remains closed.

(Updated 11/27/19 at 7:45 a.m.)


UPDATE: ODOT says that Oregon 255 Carpenterville Highway is now open. The highway had been closed earlier today after high winds knocked down trees and power lines in the Brookings area.

This morning I-5 northbound is still closed to traffic at Fawndale Road just north of Redding due to heavy snow. Highway 138 is closed east of Roseburg due to blizzard conditions. Highway 62 and 230 are closed from Prospect north to Diamond Lake Junction due to white-out conditions. '

I-5 southbound is closed at exit 11 near Ashland due to low visibility and blizzard conditions.


UPDATE: ODOT says travel "remains treacherous" and is not advised through the night — either along the I-5 corrider or southwest Oregon's other interior highways.

"Several highways are closed due to either blizzard conditions and downed trees," the agency said.

As of 4:20 p.m., Caltrans said that I-5 northbound was still closed to traffic at Fawndale Road just north of Redding due to heavy snow. Shortly after 6 p.m., the agency closed I-5 southbound to traffic three miles north of Weed at Edgewood.

ODOT reiterated that Highway 138 had been closed east of Roseburg due to blizzard conditions, Highway 62 and 230 were closed from Prospect north to Diamond Lake Junction due to white-out conditions, and Carpenterville Highway in Curry County was closed due to downed trees.

Chains were required both northbound and southbound on the I-5 through Siskiyou Summit.

"Oregon Highways 38, 42, 42S and U.S. 101 are also reporting either downed trees or power lines, though all remain open to at least a single lane as of Tuesday afternoon," ODOT said.

"Be prepared for wind, low visibility and poor winter driving conditions until the storm passes," the agency continued. "Motorists are urged to drive to the conditions as there have been numerous spin-outs and crashes."

Caltrans echoed the sentiment, saying that travel was not advised in Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity, or Modoc counties.

"Caltrans District 2 crews and California Highway Patrol Officers are out in every area of the north state working to clear the roadway during the first major storm of the season," the agency said. "Expect delays and closures."

(Updated 11/26/19 at 6:30 p.m.)


UPDATE: Caltrans says that I-5 northbound has been closed at South Dunsmuir due to "multiple vehicle spin-outs and winter weather conditions." Crews were on the scene to continue snow removal operations, but the agency later extended the closure down to Fawndale, 10 miles north of Redding.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) said that Carpenterville Highway (OR 255) was closed north of Brookings due to downed trees and power lines. Drivers were advised to use alternate routes.

ODOT later added that Highway 138 was closed east of Roseburg at Toketee Falls until the junction with Highway 97, while Highway 62 and Highway 230 were closed at Prospect through Union Creek to Diamond Lake Junction — both due to "zero visibility and blizzard conditions." There was no estimated time for reopening.

(Updated 11/26/19 at 3 p.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: As a storm heralded as "historically strong" made its presence felt in Southern Oregon and Northern California, road conditions were already suffering by noon on Tuesday.

Caltrans said that chain controls were being put into effect along I-5 north of Yreka. The restriction covers all vehicles except those with four-wheel drive, unless they are towing a trailer. Chain requirements begin southbound from Ashland and heading northbound from Yreka toward Anderson Grade.

"Check road conditions often as conditions may change quickly," the agency said. "Make sure you have chains if you're planning to travel in higher elevations."

Cameras along I-5 between Ashland and Yreka and at the Siskiyou Summit showed quickly deteriorating road conditions, with snow sticking to the ground and visibility often obscured. Major traffic backups were reported from the summit south into Yreka.

"Be prepared for wind, low visibility and otherwise winter driving conditions when traveling on I-5 corridor in southwest Oregon and northern California," the Oregon Department of Transportation said.

California Highway Patrol warned drivers to stay at least 300 feet behind snow plows as they worked to clear the roadways.

"Unless you like your car being pelted with salt or cinders," the agency said. "In that case, still stay 300 feet back."

The Sexton Summit north of Grants Pass showed similarly difficult conditions with reduced visibility and snow on the roadway, although perhaps not to the same extent as the southern pass.

Chains were also required for Highway 138 between Roseburg and Diamond Lake. Traction tires were allowed in place of chains on vehicles under 10,000 pounds and not towing. Vehicles towing were required to use chains.

This is a developing story, and NewsWatch 12 will update the article with more details as they emerge.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 22613

Reported Deaths: 385
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah5186101
Washington325827
Marion309073
Umatilla239832
Clackamas162749
Malheur86915
Deschutes62711
Lane6154
Jackson5362
Yamhill50213
Lincoln4319
Union3972
Jefferson3964
Morrow3933
Polk35012
Linn31511
Hood River2150
Klamath2062
Wasco1993
Benton1826
Douglas1591
Josephine1362
Columbia1031
Coos930
Clatsop880
Baker520
Crook511
Tillamook350
Lake320
Wallowa201
Curry170
Sherman160
Harney110
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 613101

Reported Deaths: 11148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2188315215
Riverside45662881
Orange42854789
San Bernardino39374561
San Diego34065622
Kern25888204
Fresno19157203
San Joaquin14651261
Alameda14558219
Santa Clara13865208
Sacramento13615199
Tulare12105205
Stanislaus11953195
Contra Costa10756152
Imperial10035257
Ventura909095
San Francisco805369
Santa Barbara727477
San Mateo6803126
Merced677789
Monterey589041
Marin567482
Kings524364
Solano459641
Sonoma406351
Madera292447
Placer254327
San Luis Obispo243918
Yolo196646
Santa Cruz13716
Butte137012
Napa120611
Sutter10917
El Dorado8272
San Benito8154
Yuba7404
Lassen6950
Mendocino52910
Shasta48810
Glenn4363
Colusa4095
Nevada3621
Tehama3121
Humboldt3094
Lake2682
Amador20811
Calaveras1741
Mono1601
Tuolumne1602
Inyo1275
Siskiyou1110
Del Norte1060
Mariposa632
Plumas390
Trinity80
Sierra60
Modoc50
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 109° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 91°
Brookings
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 84°
Crater Lake
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 87°
Grants Pass
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 107° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 91°
Klamath Falls
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 87°
Weekend heat wave & thunderstorm chances
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Saturday, August 15 morning weather

Image

Golf Tip of the Week: Harbor Links Golf Course

Image

Friday, August 14th Evening Weather

Image

Caitlin Reality 2

Image

Caitlin Reality

Image

Friday, August 14 afternoon weather

Image

Friday, August 14 morning weather

Image

Thursday, August 13th Evening Weather

Image

Christian schools in Jackson County say state metrics do not apply

Image

Grace Cascade Christian schools plan for return with in-person classes