(5:15 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023) The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public that a winter storm arrived in the city today with more snow, and far more widespread snowfall, than forecast. The traveling public should delay travel, plan to use public transit and use extreme caution as additional snow and freezing temperatures are expected.
After the 2 inches of snow that fell across most of Portland this afternoon, the National Weather Service advised PBOT that there is a 40% to 70% chance of an additional 2 inches tonight through early Thursday morning. High temperatures are expected to remain below freezing on Thursday, so snow or ice on city streets that accumulates today is likely to remain. Temperatures are expected to emerge above 32 degrees on Friday.
The City of Portland and Multnomah County have declared states of emergency because of the forecast hazardous conditions related to snowfall and low temperatures.
Areas east of I-205 are likely to see the most snow tonight through Thursday, as the cold wind from the Gorge and a moist front meet and linger over the area. Areas at high elevation in East Portland and in the West and Southwest Hills could also have more snowfall accumulation.
On Tuesday, PBOT crews started working around the clock to get ready for the winter storm, based on the forecast at the time.
PBOT urges the traveling public to delay travel tonight and all day Thursday.
If you do need to travel, consider public transit as your first option. Bundle up, be prepared to wait in extreme cold, and use extreme caution on sidewalks and streets. Always check trimet.org/alerts before heading out to get the very latest on delays, detours and cancellations. Pedestrians and people biking are advised to watch for snow-covered branches or wires overhead, which could break or fall.
PBOT works to keep vital public transit lines and emergency routes open in winter weather. Our essential workers are the first responders for other first responders as they treat Portland streets to make them passable for firefighters, ambulances, police and other emergency personnel. These snow and ice routes are the most critical for our city’s police and fire stations, hospitals, schools, frequent bus routes, the downtown core, and major business districts -- about a third of our entire street grid.
Narrow residential streets are not plowed or treated with anti-icing chemicals, so snow that fell on those streets today will likely linger for several days, making it difficult to reach busy corridors that have been plowed and treated.
As of 3 p.m. today, PBOT had started closing a few roads because of traffic crashes that were disrupting travel and snowplow operations. Monitor road closures during the event, at the PBOT website for winter related road closures.
During a winter weather event:
If you need to travel, consider TriMet: If you cannot delay travel during periods of snowy conditions, consider public transit as your first option, and be prepared for delays, and look for alerts and changes to transit routes. Public transportation schedules can be found via TriMet’s website, as well as PortlandStreetcar.org/schedules.
Monitor road closures: Current PBOT winter weather road closures and chain advisories
Do not abandon your vehicle in a travel lane: It disrupts snowplows, police and fire responders, public transit and will likely result in your vehicle being towed with a citation.
Report downed trees. Did you see a downed tree or large limb on City property or public streets? Report it by calling 503-823-TREE (8733). Please be patient; Urban Forestry crews are minimizing safety risks and clearing the largest debris first. Emergency dispatchers are available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
Report Road Hazards Call PBOT Maintenance emergency dispatch 24/7 at 503-823-1700
Preparing for severe weather travel:
Stay informed. Sign up at Public Alerts for emergency notifications from all regional agencies via text, email, or phone. Go to PBOT’s Winter Weather Center to track real-time weather, traffic, road closures, and plow information. Sign up for PBOT alerts via text or email.
Build a severe weather travel plan. Before the inclement weather hits, plan ahead for how you'll travel in severe weather. Our "Get Home Safe" travel checklist provides essential tips for taking transit, walking, biking, and driving in winter weather. Property owners, tenants and businesses should have supplies on hand, such as ice melt and snow shovels to clear sidewalks as well as pathways across their driveways.
No time for inaction, find some traction. Traveling in snow and ice can be challenging, and at times dangerous and slippery. Immediately after snow and ice, Portlanders are encouraged to limit their travel and stay close to home.Traction devices for your shoes will help navigate your neighborhood streets.
Have you purchased chains yet for your vehicle? Take the time to practice putting them on your car while the weather is nice! You'll be glad you did. PBOT has additional winter weather travel travels for pedestrians and people biking and driving.