By Jake Thomas
Winter hasn’t officially arrived to Portland, but this week it will sure feel like it.
Strong Artic winds are blowing into Portland, shoving temperatures past the freezing point.
For much of the week, daytime temperatures will be in the 30s. At night, they are expected to drop even further, with lows in the teens.
Later this week, Portland will warm up a bit, with temperatures creeping back into the 40s.
However, officials are still bracing themselves for a rough storm.
Cheryl Kuck, spokesperson for the city’s Bureau of Transportation, said that her bureau is bracing for the potential of snow and freezing rain this weekend, conditions that have caused Portland to come to a screeching halt in past years.
“There’s nothing alarming,” said Kuck, who explained that the city has put an anti-icing chemical on the roads, especially in shady areas and hilly slopes.
If such conditions do come about, Kuck advises motorists to ditch their cars and take public transportation.
“Our message to motorists is: this kind of cold and precipitation can bring ice,” said Kuck, who hoped that drivers would slow down and look out for pedestrians.
A statement from officials, noted that the Oregon Department of Transportation, TriMet and the Portland Bureau of Transportation are working together to make sure things run as smoothly as possible during the possible storm.
In particular, each agency will be working to make sure that the plow and sand routes will keep TriMet routes passable.
Officials are also advising Portlanders, to keep chains handy because they could very well need them.
The statement also mentioned that the city and ODOT will be targeting trouble spots around hills, major arterial roads, and streets that residents rely on to get to their neighborhoods.
The city also has two new online tools for Portlanders.
Publicalerts.org will help Portlanders keep abreast of any vital information, including public health alerts, school closures, and road conditions.
Portlanders can also use a map on the city’s Bureau of Transportation to better plan their routes.