Baker, Grant, Harney, Union County, Oregon (releases from ODOT: East. Or)- URGENT: Motorists are driving around road closures and becoming stranded on snow covered routes. Several highways are closed and ODOT crews are not able to perform winter maintenance operations due to high winds, snowdrifts, blowing snow and limited visibility. If you drive today in eastern Oregon, plan for long delays. Pack extra food, water and blankets. Don’t expect emergency response crews to rescue you if you drive on closed roadways. Stay home, stay safe and don’t put others at risk.
I-84 eastbound and westbound lanes remain closed to all traffic between Exit 216 (6 miles east of Pendleton) and Baker City Exit 302. The westbound freeway is also closed to trucks and through traffic in Ontario at Exit 374. Numerous other routes are also closed, including OR245, OR204, OR11, OR74, OR331, OR332, OR334, OR335, OR350, OR351, OR339 plus other highways. Many city and county routes are also closed. ODOT is advising all motorist in the Umatilla County area to stay home, as most state routes in that area are closed due to high winds, whiteout conditions and numerous snowdrifts across roadways. Conditions are so extreme that snowplow drivers cannot see the road well enough to effectively plow snow. Plowing operations are postponed on many closed state routes in Umatilla County and other areas. The closures could remained in place for several days on lower priority routes, as a new snowstorm is expected today, along with more high wind conditions. ODOT crews are monitoring conditions and will resume winter maintenance operations and open closed routes when it is safe to do so. DO NOT DRIVE ON CLOSED ROADWAYS OR THROUGH SNOW DRIFTS, AS YOU COULD BECOME STUCK AND STRANDED WITH LITTLE CHANCE OF RESCUE UNTIL CONDITIONS SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED, POSSIBLY DAYS. Don’t put emergency responders and others in danger by driving in severe weather. Conditions are expected to get worse today with new weather system moving in. Stay home and stay safe. For highway/weather conditions check TripCheck.com or call 511 / 800-977-6368. Outside Oregon call 503-588-2941.