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Ice Storm Resurgence: Pacific Northwest Prepares for Another Wave After Weekend Fatality!

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The Pacific Northwest is grappling with an ongoing weather crisis following a weekend ice storm that caused power outages and at least seven fatalities. 

The affected regions include the Seattle area, as well as parts of southwest Washington and western Oregon, encompassing major cities like Portland, Salem, and Eugene. Meteorologists have issued ice storm warnings for these areas, predicting an additional half-inch of ice accumulation through early Wednesday.

The Pacific Northwest, unaccustomed to extreme Arctic temperatures or substantial snowfall, faces unique challenges due to its heavily forested terrain. 

Freezing rain is extremely dangerous, especially for trees and electricity wires since it falls as liquid and then freezes when it comes into contact with cold surfaces. The area’s vulnerability to falling trees and power lines, a common problem during freezing rain and ice storms, increases the risk of this incident.

The hazardous conditions have forced the closure of 47 miles of Interstate 84, a major east-west highway in the Columbia River Gorge, as a precautionary measure to ensure public safety amidst the icy forecast.

Emergency Extension After Ice Storm

ice-storm-resurgence-pacific-northwest-prepares-for-another-wave-after-weekend-fatality!
The Pacific Northwest is grappling with an ongoing weather crisis following a weekend ice storm that caused power outages and at least seven fatalities.

Tragically, the weekend weather has already claimed lives, with at least seven reported fatalities. Incidents include a man in Lake Oswego killed when a tree struck his house and a woman in Portland who lost her life when a tree crushed a recreational vehicle, leading to a trapped and fiery situation.

In the aftermath of the storm, residents are contending with widespread power outages, with approximately 52,000 people in Oregon still without power as of midday Tuesday. The National Weather Service warns of the potential for more outages.

The forecast has prompted Portland Public Schools, the largest district in the state, to cancel classes for Tuesday and Wednesday, compounding disruptions to in-person learning experienced during a teachers’ strike in November.

Multnomah County officials have extended a weather state of emergency until noon Wednesday, maintaining 12 overnight emergency weather shelters to accommodate those in need. 

The urgent call for volunteers underscores the high demand for shelter services, especially in areas where thousands are exposed to the cold, emphasizing the critical need for staffing to ensure the safety and well-being of those seeking refuge from the icy conditions.

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