Travelers warned ahead of winter storm

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Transportation is warning travelers about potentially hazardous road conditions this coming weekend.

Snow, cold, high winds and tidal flooding will combine Friday night throughout much of southwest Oregon.

ODOT said there could be flooding along the coastline with the possibility of water on roadways in low-lying coastal areas like Coos Bay and Charleston.

Snowfall is headed for the Cascades where there could be blizzard conditions. Low-elevation snow is expected for some valleys in the area as well.

“ODOT wants travelers to think twice before trying to drive over the mountain passes which are expected to get several feet of snow this weekend, especially in the Diamond Lake/Crater Lake area,” ODOT stated. “Due to the forecast, ODOT suggests travelers not drive in extreme weather conditions.”

To check current road conditions in Oregon, visit http://www.tripcheck.com

ODOT provided the following tips for winter driving:

  • Carry chains and know how to put them on.
  • Know before you go. Plan your route. Let someone know when you’re expected. Stay on state highways. Do not rely on GPS.
  • Carrying an emergency kit that includes supplies of water and food, and blankets. Have a full tank of gas and charge your phone.
  • Get safely situated. Don’t wait until after a storm hits to get on the road. Get to your destination before conditions turn nasty and unsafe.
  • Travel smart. Consider waiting until a storm passes to get on your bike or in your car.
  • Look out for each other. If you must drive, remember cyclists and pedestrians are harder to see in a storm. If you’re biking or walking remember that cars don’t stop quickly on snow and ice.
  • Leave early. It’s smart to allow plenty of time to get where you’re going. In severe weather, closures and crashes can cause long delays.
  • Check on any appointments before you leave. Offices and businesses may close due to the weather.
  • Beware of outages. If a storm knocks out power to traffic signals, treat intersections like an all-way stop. The driver who stops first goes first.
  • Watch for plows. ODOT sand trucks, plows and deicer trucks can’t clear roads clogged with traffic. The more traffic stays off the road, the quicker roads can be treated. Everybody benefits the sooner they can get the road cleared.
  • In coastal areas, watch for water on the roads and highways. Do not attempt to cross any stretch where you cannot see the roadway surface.

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