Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Dec. 11, 2019

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Icy conditions prompt crashes, late start for Clark County schools

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published: December 2, 2019, 7:16am

Icy conditions in Vancouver and Clark County caused dozens of crashes Monday morning, but the National Weather Service in Portland says the next two days shouldn’t be as bad.

Washington State Patrol troopers responded to 35 wrecks in Clark County from about 4 a.m. to 11 a.m., according to spokesman Will Finn.

All of the crashes were related to the weather and most were described as minor.

However, Finn noted one crash on southbound Interstate 5 at Northeast 99th Street. A pickup truck lost control and rolled onto the freeway’s barrier, he said. The driver lost at least two fingers, maybe three.

The Washington State Department of Transportation noted two other crashes on Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 in Clark County Monday morning.

The northbound crash happened at 6:56 a.m. at Milepost 7.2 near 134th Street. The left lane was blocked by emergency vehicles. The southbound crash happened at 6:51 a.m. at Milepost 6.3. The right and center lanes were blocked.

An SUV tipped onto its side on southbound Interstate 205 near Northeast Padden Parkway shortly before 7 a.m., according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian. The driver was uninjured.

The crashes snarled traffic on the freeways during the morning commute.

As of 10 a.m., Vancouver Police Department officers had responded to seven crashes. Four of the crash reports mentioned ice or slippery conditions, Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp said in an email.

A two-vehicle, head-on collision around 7 a.m. at Northeast Andresen Road and East Mill Plain Boulevard prompted a large response. The vehicles’ occupants were out of their cars when police and firefighters arrived. An officer at the scene told dispatchers the crash was “pretty significant” before requesting sand or deicer for the road.

According to emergency dispatch logs, Clark County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to about 16 crashes between 4 a.m. and 11 a.m. At least two of those crashes involved injuries.

The weather service in Portland did not issue any weather watches, warnings or advisories for Southwest Washington on Monday morning as temperatures fell below freezing through much of the metro area.

However, it posted a graphic on Twitter showing most of Clark County as “ICY!”

The conditions prompted two school districts to delay the start of their school days by two hours.

NWS Hydrologist Andy Bryant said the county will see some areas with near-freezing temperatures this morning, but the weather will not be as cold as Monday. Bryant said most of the county, from Camas to Battle Ground, should see temperatures increase by four to seven degrees. Things should be the same on Wednesday.

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“We had some light rain early (Sunday) night, but it cleared out and got cold quickly. We won’t have that (weather)” today or Wednesday morning, Bryant said.

The Department of Transportation urges drivers to plan extra time to reach their destinations during inclement weather. It only takes one crash to slow or stop traffic.

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