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News / Clark County News

Clark County schools canceling classes with ice storm expected across region Tuesday

By Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor
Published: January 15, 2024, 2:32pm

More challenging winter weather is headed to Clark County and Southwest Washington, with an Ice Storm Warning in effect from 1 p.m. Tuesday through Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.

School was not in session Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day but districts across the county started announcing closures Monday afternoon. Updates can be found at  www.columbian.com/school-closures.

“Significant icing expected. Total snow accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of two tenths to one half of an inch” are expected in the Vancouver-Portland area with more accumulation at higher elevations and in the Columbia River Gorge, according to the agency. The Gorge, South Washington Cascades and South Washington Cascade foothills could also see winds gusting as high as 55 mph.

With a high near 30 and a low of 29 on Tuesday, Clark County and Southwest Washington will likely see freezing rain mixed with rain, turning to all freezing rain in the afternoon. Tonight’s low is expected to be 16 degrees.

“Expect power outages and tree damage due to the ice. Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute,” NWS said.

Officials are advising people to limit travel and carry emergency supplies if they must go out. Check road conditions at The Columbian’s live traffic map. For the latest on highways across Washington, visit wsdot.com/travel/real-time or follow WSDOT on Twitter. In Oregon, visit tripcheck.com.

Highs are still supposed to be in the mid-40s Wednesday but the winds will pick up around Clark County as the warmer weather moves in.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is advising drivers to use traction tires on state Highway 14, in both directions, from Milepost 19, just east of Washougal, to Milepost 83. Oversized loads are prohibited.

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Due to the weather, C-Tran routes and services are seeing delays or changes. Vine passengers may need to use winter weather boarding locations for each stop. Turtle Place is closed, along with the Fourth Plain and Fort Vancouver Way westbound (stop ID 6148). A number of bus routes are suspended, on snow routes or closed. Check c-tran.com for specifics and updates.

Weather conditions are especially dangerous for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. For a complete list of shelters, visit Clark Regional Emergency Services’ list of shelters and services. The Council for the Homeless issued a severe weather alert through Tuesday night. The alert activates the emergency shelter system in Clark County, opening up additional beds.

While the Portland area saw significant power outages over the weekend, with more than 75,000 homes and businesses still without electricity Monday morning, Clark Public Utilities reported only a fraction of those outages. Down branches and other weather-related outages hit as many as 10,000 customers at some point over the weekend. By Monday morning, those issues were largely resolved. Report outages at www.clarkpublicutilities.com/outages-safety.

Due to gusty winds, Clark County Public Works issued a simple message to area residents Saturday morning: “The safest place to be today is indoors, away from trees.”

In a post on its social media channels, Clark County Public Works asked residents to exercise caution in county parks and trails where ice, snow and strong winds are creating hazardous conditions. People should stay away from trees, power poles and power lines during strong wind events.

Down trees, broken pipes and other maintenance issues in parks can be reported to Clark County Public Works using its web form at clark.wa.gov/public-works/report-park-road. Report down trees on roads by calling 564-397-2446.

In Vancouver, visit www.cityofvancouver.us and click on Winter Weather Response for more information on closures or to report issues.

A two-alarm house fire in east Clark County was fanned by high winter winds Saturday, making firefighting conditions a challenge for fire crews.

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