Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Sept. 28, 2022

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Wintry weather arrives in Clark County

Residents urged to prepare for more snow, icy conditions, wind

By , Columbian Metro Editor, and
, Columbian county government and small cities reporter
Published:

Snow began falling in Clark County on Thursday, the first of what is expected to be three days of wintry weather.

The National Weather Service in Portland predicted that the snow would intensify Thursday night and keep falling until roughly noon Friday. Meteorologists there said another round of “frozen wintry precipitation” is forecast to hit portions of the Portland-Vancouver area Friday night into Saturday. Up to 6 inches of snow are expected to stick to the ground.

Eastern parts of the county, which are closer to cold winds from the Columbia River Gorge, are expected to see the most snow as well as the highest winds — up to 50 mph. Up to 0.2 inch of ice is expected to stick to the ground, though the heaviest amount is expected south of Clark County.

The lowest temperatures were expected to drop into the 20-degree range with wind chill values as low as 10 degrees.

Travel will be challenging at times due to snow and ice, especially on overpasses and exposed bridges that tend to be cooler, according to the weather service. Power outages are also possible.

Those who must travel are advised to pack traction devices, snow shovels, extra flashlights, food and water in their vehicles. Updated road conditions are available by dialing 511.

Preparing for snow

Public works agencies in Clark County had begun preparing for snow earlier this week.

Vancouver Public Works street crews began operating around the clock beginning Wednesday night, according to a news release from the city. “Trucks with plows and full tanks of de-icing solution are ready to roll.”

During winter weather, the city converts equipment and vehicles used for normal operations and maintenance work into plows and de-icers.

The crews’ first priority will be major routes that connect police, fire and emergency medical services, according to the city. After that, crews will plan to plow and de-ice the remaining major streets, bus snow routes and key areas around hills and intersections before, if time and resources allow, smaller roads and public parking lots.

“There are more than 1,900 lane miles of streets in the city of Vancouver,” the news release reads. “During severe weather events, public works crews and equipment are strategically deployed in zones throughout the community to efficiently maximize the city’s response to snow, sleet and icy winter conditions using the equipment and crews available.”

Public works crews are also available to clear roads for emergency access to specific sites as needed.

“During severe weather, the effort to support public safety is a constant job, night and day, particularly in prolonged weather events,” the news release reads. “Neighborhood residential streets are not de-iced or plowed due to these ongoing demands, limited resources and difficulties posed by multiple driveways and parked cars.”

The conditions could impact garbage and recycling collections in the city, and more information is available at www.cityofvancouver.us/ServiceAlerts.

Water pipes should be insulated to prevent freezing and bursting. The city advised residents and business owners to keep sidewalks clear.

For more information and tips, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/severeweather. Those who need to report urgent street or utility issues in Vancouver can call the city’s public works operations at 360-487-8177.

School plans

Several school districts announced cancellations, closures and changes to operations Thursday. Evergreen Public Schools classes will meet remotely Friday. Battle Ground Public Schools will be closed. Additional changes for Friday were beginning to be announced as The Columbian’s press deadline approached Thursday evening.

Updated school closure information is available at www.columbian.com/school-closures.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter

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