News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Prepare for winter driving conditions

Travelers heading to high elevation areas and through Cascade mountain passes in central and southwest Oregon this weekend should be ready for winter weather.

National Weather Service forecasts predict low temperatures and rain will bring several inches of snow to high Cascade areas and passes above 4,000 feet between Oct. 21-24. Travelers should prepare for wet and snow conditions during the day, and early morning ice.

Jeremiah Griffin, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) district manager, says higher temperatures at lower elevations can be deceiving.

“It may be warm when you start your trip, but as you head into or over the mountains, temperatures drop and conditions can change quickly,” said Griffin. “Prepare before you leave and be ready to adjust for changing road conditions.”

ODOT road crews are prepared for snow and work continuously to keep roads clear, but they can’t be everywhere at once.

To prepare for winter driving:

• Carry tire chains in your vehicle and practice putting them on.

• Inspect your vehicle. Make sure that tires have good tread and windshield wipers are clean and in good condition.

• Make sure your car’s heater and defroster are working well.

• Pack warm clothes, extra snacks and water, and any medications you may need if delayed.

• Check for up-to-date road conditions along your route.

On the road, drivers should slow down, give other vehicles extra space, and drive according to conditions. If you’re using a GPS, double check its route. Some GPS systems may lead you down unmaintained back roads. Be safe and stick to main roads. 

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