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Heavy snowfall causes tree damage, power outages

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TIDINGS PHOTO: IAN MONIHAN - West Linn Public Works was out early plowing local streets, with the most important being the city's snow route and this portion on Cornwall Street.

The winter's first snowstorms, as it turns out, were mere teases.

The Portland metro area's snowiest winter in years continued Tuesday, Jan. 10 with a storm that lasted through the night and left about 4.5 inches on the ground as of 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

That inch count only grew as the snow continued through the morning, forcing local schools to close along with all government buildings. According to police and fire officials, no major weather-related incidents had occurred as of Wednesday morning, but they warned residents to stay off the roads unless driving was absolutely necessary. SUBMITTED PHOTO: WEST LINN POLICE DEPARTMENT - All roads leading uphill were closed, save for Salamo Road and Sunset Avenue.

"If you don't need to go anywhere, you should strongly consider not (leaving)," West Linn Police Sergeant Burv Corbin said.

All roads leading up the hill remained closed Wednesday, save for Salamo Road and Sunset Avenue. According to Corbin, while police dealt with a number of minor car-related issues Tuesday night, the most pressing concerns Wednesday morning were downed trees and power outages occurring across the city.

"We've had so many trees coming down, taking down power lines, which is the biggest thing," Corbin said. "It's one end of the city to the other, all along (Highway) 43. People lost phone lines, cable lines and trees are blocking cable lines.TIDINGS PHOTO: ANDREW KILSTROM - Thousands of West Linn residents experienced power outages, with some parts of the city still without electricity. PGE can be found working on downed lines throughout the city.

"Public works is working hard … now we're just starting to get on top of things."

The downed trees and power lines, according to Corbin, appeared to be caused by the sheer weight of the snow.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: WEST LINN POLICE DEPARTMENT - Downed trees and power lines caused by the weight of the snow led to widespread power outages across the city.

"Every once in awhile, Mother Nature decides to trim (the trees)," Corbin said. "But Mother Nature doesn't clean up after itself. … And we're not done; another tree just fell near Mark Lane. The same people get their power fixed, just to lose it again."

Driving, on the other hand, caused fewer problems this time around as both Corbin and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVFR) spokesperson Cassandra Ulven agreed that residents seemed to have learned from recent experience.

"The very first storm, people learned from it," Corbin said. "People have stayed home if they were wary of it."

"I think because people heeded warnings to stay home if you could, we haven't seen a dramatic increase in calls," Ulven said. "We've been echoing the same warning as law enforcement: Stay off the roads unless you absolutely have to go out."

Ulven added that this particular storm was a reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness kits.

"Even a storm like this that leave you in your house for a couple of days highlights things you could plan better for," Ulven said. "So you can plan and improve your disaster preparedness kits during the snow day."

TIDINGS PHOTO: ANDREW KILSTROM - Dylan Hoxha is enjoying his snow day after spending the morning sleeding down small hills at Cedaroak Park Primary.

TIDINGS PHOTO: ANDREW KILSTROM - West Linn Parks and Recreation has spent the day plowing major streets around the city, like Cedaroak Drive pictured here.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: WEST LINN POLICE DEPARTMENT - As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, about 4.5 inches of snow accumulated in West Linn. That number only grew as snowfall continued throughout the morning.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: WEST LINN POLICE DEPARTMENT - Residents are strongly urged to stay off the roads unless driving is absolutely necessary.

TIDINGS PHOTO: IAN MONIHAN - Cars and trucks were able to make it up the hill onto the top part of West Linn by using Sunset Avenue. Many of the regular routes had been closed.

TIDINGS PHOTO: IAN MONIHAN - Up to 6 inches of snow blanketed West Linn's old police station and 76 Station next to the Oregon City Bridge.

TIDINGS PHOTO: IAN MONIHAN - Tall firs behind Trillium Creek Primary appear as if they had been flocked for the holidays.

West Linn Tidings reporter Patrick Malee can be reached at 503-636-1281 Ext. 106 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..