As day 3 of "Winter Storm Orion" impacts the region with unprecedented foul weather conditions, thousands of Eugene, Lane County residents remain home-bound as this extended arctic influence weather pattern transitions into freezing rain.
While Orion's rain has brought much relief to drought stricken Northern California, the exceptional amount of snow dumped on Eugene and the Willamette Valley has resulted in numerous traffic accidents, downed trees and power-lines.
Nancy King of Southwest Eugene welcomes the visual change snow brings to the winter scenery. However, as day 3 grinds on, she, like many in the region grow anxious with worry; as the sound of breaking and falling trees fill the cold crisp air.
Her home like many in the region is surrounded by tall Oak and Fir trees. It doesn't take a very heavy branch to damage a house roof, window, car or utility line.
In looking to the Weather Chanel, we find little relief in the forecast as snow gives way to frozen rain and fog. For those not familiar with this weather anomaly, precipitation ( rain or fog) will fall under certain atmospheric conditions and freeze as it hits the ground, snow, pavement , tree branches and electric current transformers.
Branches and wires become encased in ice. The added frozen water weight results in the breaking of branches and the downing of utility lines. The building layers of ice can add hundreds if not thousands of pounds to a large Fir tree branch: enough weight to crush a car's roof or worse.
Also, according to ODOT and personal experience, driving on ice can be extremely dangerous.
Eugene and Lane County public safety officials recommend that you stay off the road and be beware of overhead falling objects. And when traveling, carry emergency rations, water and an overnight bag.
As shared with me last night by fellow real estate associate Colin Call: Getting into town is one thing. Making it back up a frozen, un-plowed Southwest or East Eugene street is next to impossible and increasingly dangerous; as the approaching thaw turns into ice
On a personal note, I would like to extend my thanks to friends and family for a heartfelt, congratulatory birthday greeting. Note: Due to extremely dangerous road conditions, the Saturday night reception at Davis' downtown is cancelled until further notice. Wishing all a safe a warm weekend.