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Much of Eugene to remain snowbound until Tuesday thaw

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With area high temperatures predicted to remain below freezing through Monday, much of Eugene and the Willamette Valley will remain snowbound through Tuesday.

Friday’s early morning snowfall lasted well into late afternoon for Eugene and the surrounding southern end of the Willamette Valley. With Interstate 5 and the Belt line closed to traffic, the city was visually reminiscent of the Midwest in Winter; as Track Town U.S.A. came to grinding halt.

While area residents did anticipate 2-3 inches of the white stuff, what actually fell was a bit overwhelming for many. Many Eugenians reported a foot or more of the white stuff on roofs and in backyards, roadways and sidewalks.

Following record low temperatures for the first week of December, a snow system arrived in the region around 4 am. Friday; bringing with it 6 to12 inches of perfect powder. While that was fun for the kids, nature would dictate some off time for the rest of us. With snow plow and sanders tied up on the Freeway and major artery, cross streets and avenues, many outlying roads and neighborhoods would not see a snowplow for 2 days or more. As to the kids, area schools will most likely remain closed through Monday.

Late Friday afternoon, Eugene Public Safety posted an advisory dissuading the movement and parking of personal transportation Downtown, giving priority to emergency vehicles. To say that downtown Eugene was not prepared for snow is an understatement. Parking lot slip and slide and traffic light running approached competition sport status as rush hour traffic attempted to leave the city..

During Friday’s snow fest, no fewer than 250 auto accident related calls were reported by 911 dispatch.

Saturday morning around 10 am. a county snowplow and sander made its way past my front door, so... After a bit of snow shoveling, I decided( under cover of reporting this story) to venture out a bit and view the conditions. Let me put it to you politely. If you don’t need to drive, don’t.

4x4’s with cable chains, 2x2 with variable speed traction control, snow studs, all terrain tires? Doesn't matter. While I’m a seasoned all weather driver, many folks are not. I witnessed many hapless driver sitting on the side of the road. Stuck in a ditch, crossed up at an intersection, kissing a road side tree, bumper locked with another hapless driver. And then there’s that “where’s the center line?” thing.

It’s not there… While it’s a visually beautiful thing, driving on a frozen road bed is dangerous. 60’ feet wide and no way to stop a vehicle at speed, that last minute short trip into town could be your last.

Work, groceries, Christmas shopping and kid sports will wait for a day or two.

Be safe, stay home.

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