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Highways reopening, some chain restrictions lifted after winter storm in Southern Oregon

Road crews were beginning to reopen Oregon's High Cascades highways on Friday after a widespread winter storm passed through southern Oregon and northern California.

Posted: Jan 16, 2020 4:39 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2020 3:59 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Road crews were beginning to reopen Oregon's High Cascades highways and transportation officials were loosening chain restrictions on Friday after a widespread winter storm passed through southern Oregon and northern California.

Crews from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) finished clearing hazard trees and piled snow from Highway 138 East and Highway 62 north of Prospect, allowing them to reopen the roadways.

“We’re glad to get the area back open. We hate to close highways but sometimes winter forces our hand,” said ODOT District Manager Jerry Marmon. “Crews worked tirelessly every day, only to be pushed back by more snow, hazardous high winds and falling trees.”

Highway 230 remained closed on Friday afternoon due to heavy snow and downed trees. ODOT said that clean-up work would continue through the weekend while crews remove trees and debris from the snow berm lining the roadway so blowers could widen the route for travel.

The agency said that travelers should still be prepared for delays and allow extra time in order to reach a destination, and always let someone know your destination and when you should arrive there. Travelers should also carry chains, water, snacks, and blankets.

Check below for updates on known road closures, restrictions, and other traffic conditions throughout southern Oregon and northern California.


Jackson County

Around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jackson County Roads said that many roads in the area above 3000 feet in elevation had seen heavy snowfall, with some areas seeing upwards of two-foot accumulations.

"While snow plows have been working continuously throughout the day, driving conditions on these roads are challenging and is expected to worsen this evening," County Roads said.

Most high mountain roads in Jackson County are not plowed during evening hours, and the County urged travelers not to use those roads overnight.

"While the storm has let up in lower elevations areas, the mountains have continued to get pounded", noted John Vial, director of Jackson County Roads. "We will continue to plow these high elevation routes into the early evening and plows will return starting around 5:00 am. If drivers can delay their travel until tomorrow that is highly recommended."

The following roads were hardest hit and are not advised for travel:

  • Dead Indian Memorial Road, Colestin Road, Butte Falls-Fish Lake Road, Butte Falls-Prospect Road, and any other above 3000 feet.

"Expect severe winter driving conditions and if you don't need to go, don't," County Roads said.


Josephine County

By 4 p.m. on Thursday, Josephine County Public Works said that all remaining road closures involved power lines and were under the car of Pacific Power. Crews would remain on the roads through the evening to plow, sand, and patrol for any further issues. Public Works said that they would be back in time for the morning commute for more clean-up plowing and sanding.

"Showers are decreasing through the late afternoon, but motorist are urged to use extreme caution tonight and tomorrow," the County said. "Freezing road temperatures are quite likely overnight, and a re-freeze would create very hazardous conditions."

District 1 – Wolf Creek and northern county:

  • Speaker Road (600-block), Coyote Creek Road, Lower Graves Creek Road (4700-block), Bridge Lane (halfway up), Brimstone Drive.

District 2 – Merlin, Hugo & Colonial Valley:

  • Hugo Road (2900-block), Artlin Road, Jump Off Joe Creek (3100-block), Azalea Drive (4000-block), Robertson Bridge Road (300-block), Pickett Creek (1200-bock) Russell Road (3000-block), Galice Road (just below Morrison Lodge), Stewart Road.

District 3 – City of Grants Pass, mid-county:

  • Midway Avenue, Waters Creek Road, Murphy Creek Road (1400-block), Kubli Road (900-block), Griffin Park Road (just off Riverbanks Road), Lappland Drive.

District 4 – Williams:

  • East Fork Road

District 5 – Illinois Valley:

  • Deer Creek (at Dryden Road), Deer Creek Road (2000-block, 5500-block, and 7100-block), Hays Cut Off Road (at Holland Loop), Holland Loop Road, Dick George (4000-block), Takilma Road (5200-block), Thompson Creek Road (2000-block), Holton Creek Road, Dick George Road (1900-block).

Interstate 5

Siskiyou Summit:

Yreka:

  • Chains requirements have been lifted on I-5 from the California border to Redding at this time, according to QuickMap. There are chain requirements on spur highways, including Hwy 97 and 89.

Sexton Summit:

  • Drivers must carry chains or traction tires at this time.

U.S. Highway 199

Oregon:

  • ODOT is requiring drivers to carry chains or traction tires through Hayes Hill.

U.S. Highway 97

Siskiyou County:

  • Chains or traction tires are required on all vehicles just outside of Weed.

Klamath County:

  • ODOT is reporting black ices in stretches of Hwy 97 north of Klamath Falls. Drivers are required to carry chains.

Highway 140

  • Chains are required on semi trucks near Lake of the Woods. ODOT is reporting packed snow on the road.

Highway 238

  • Drivers are required to carry chains on Jacksonville Hill. ODOT says there are spots of ice along the highway.

Highways 62, 230, 138

  • Highway 62 is back open in full, from Prospect to the junction with Oregon 230 and beyond toward Crater Lake National Park. Drivers must carry chains beyond Prospect, and must wear chains near Crater Lake past the 230 junction.
  • Highway 138E is back open all the way from Roseburg to the junction with Highway 97. Chains or traction tires are required, though semi-trucks must use chains.
  • Highway 230 remains closed due to heavy snow and fallen trees.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4243

Reported Deaths: 153
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah116559
Marion96025
Washington73917
Clackamas31211
Deschutes1250
Umatilla1163
Linn1159
Polk9812
Lane733
Yamhill707
Jackson660
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath440
Jefferson330
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas270
Wasco241
Josephine231
Hood River180
Columbia160
Lincoln120
Morrow110
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111951

Reported Deaths: 4172
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles550012362
Riverside7486323
San Diego7481269
Orange6261147
San Bernardino5246204
Alameda339096
Santa Clara2776141
San Francisco258842
Kern225038
San Mateo210484
Tulare184484
Fresno174335
Santa Barbara164912
Imperial163427
Contra Costa145037
Sacramento140056
Ventura107833
San Joaquin85834
Kings7464
Stanislaus74429
Sonoma5534
Monterey53010
Solano51722
Marin48314
Merced2837
San Luis Obispo2691
Placer2159
Santa Cruz2132
Yolo21124
Napa1123
Madera1062
Humboldt1013
El Dorado900
San Benito872
Sutter462
Del Norte450
Butte440
Nevada411
Shasta394
Mono371
Mendocino300
Yuba301
Lake210
Inyo201
Amador190
Mariposa161
Glenn160
Calaveras150
Siskiyou70
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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Grants Pass
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Klamath Falls
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