Seattle sends crews to help dig out Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. – As transportation crews work to dig Portland out of more than a foot of snow, help is heading down I-5 from Seattle.
Governor Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler both declared a States of Emergency over the winter storm conditions across Oregon and in the Rose City.
Portland Bureau of Transportation officials said that once they realized how much snow was going to fall, they started reaching out to other Northwest departments for help.
Seattle Dept. of Transportation answered their call.
SDOT says its sending down a dozen heavy salt-spreading trucks and plows, an aerial lift truck, a chainsaw crew and wood chipper truck, along with an additional four light duty salt and plow vehicles.
Overnight temperatures are expected to fall below the freezing level, creating icy conditions on the roads. The snow is expected to stick around on side streets for several days.
"With a storm of this magnitude, I felt it was extremely important that we do everything we could to get our streets clear and to keep Portland moving safely," said Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman. "I'm extremely grateful to Seattle DOT for the offer of assistance."
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PBOT will have all of its 55 plows on the roads through the night, concentrating mainly on the city's primary and secondary routes - or the main public transportation and emergency routes.
The State of Emergency declarations free up state and national resources to help communities struggling through the storm.
Both Gov. Brown and Mayor Wheeler asked drivers to stay off the roads until conditions improve.