© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Eugene declares snow/ice emergency as winter weather socks region

Ice-covered road
Brian Bull
Snow and ice covers the road, sidewalks and trees in much of the Willamette Valley including the Spencer Butte section of Eugene, as seen on Saturday, Jan. 13.

For the latest closings in the KLCC listening area, visit our Closings page.

As winter weather envelops much of Oregon, the City of Eugene has declared a "snow/ice emergency."

Map of Eugene's snow routes
City of Eugene
This map shows the City of Eugene's designated snow routes. A higher-resolution version of this image can be found at the City of Eugene's "Storm Response" website.

That means "all vehicles must be removed immediately from designated snow emergency routes," according to a city press release.

"That allows us to make sure we have access to the priority roads for plowing, for sanding, or both," said Marion Suitor Barnes, the spokesperson for the City of Eugene's Public Works Department.

The emergency declaration will be in effect until conditions improve, but it's not clear when that will be.

“It’s not expected to melt quickly, so we’re looking at probably at least two days of this," said Barnes. "And so that is what our crews are planning on. They are planning 12-hour shifts and 24-hour coverage for at least the next day-and-a-half.”

The city also closed all city parks on Saturday, and Lane County closed all county parks in the Willamette Valley portion of the county.

Lane Transit District announced a series of route detours and cancellations, and said service would end earlier than usual on Saturday, with the final departures leaving the downtown Eugene bus terminal at 7:30 p.m. Route-specific information can be found at the LTD Service Alerts page.

LTD said service is expected to resume on Sunday at 11:00 a.m., but that staff will evaluate the situation on Sunday morning and adjust that schedule accordingly.

Most flights into and out of the Eugene airport on Saturday afternoon and evening were canceled, according to the airport's website. Travelers should confirm their flight's status directly with their airline.

Power outages plagued parts of Oregon Saturday, with the bulk occurring in the Portland metro area. As of late Saturday evening, approximately 12,400 customers were without power in Lane County, 10,800 in Lincoln County and 12,500 in Benton County, according to a website that tracks outages nationally.

According to Emerald PUD, the hardest-hit sections of their territory include Cottage Grove, Creswell, Veneta and Noti "due to the loss of transmission lines in those areas."

Snow, sleet and freezing rain were expected to continue into the evening Saturday, with some additional precipitation possible on Sunday morning.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”