Oregon remains buried in winter white


A winter storm settled over much of Oregon on Tuesday, with snow slides closing several highways.

The National Weather Service said snow would fall over much of Oregon from the Cascade Range east to the Idaho border.

The heaviest snowfall was predicted in the southern part of the range, where the service issued a blizzard warning.

On Tuesday morning, a snow slide closed Highway 20 near the Santiam Pass after trapping several cars. Nobody was injured, officials said. It was quickly cleared.

The Oregon Department of Transportation said heavy snow and other weather conditions caused the slide.

A second slide, 80-feet long, temporarily closed Highway 20 later in the day.

Near Crater Lake National Park, a small avalanche closed a portion of Highway 62 and the entrance to the park.

Nobody was hurt or trapped, said dispatcher Cheryl Knobel. At midday, she said, crews were still trying to plow through a 300-foot-long section of snow that slid down a 50-foot slope, and it appeared the park would not reopen on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a logger who was clearing damaged trees from earlier storms was reported killed.

A fellow logger said it appeared that 29-year-old Tommy Walker of Clatskanie died Monday after a tree he was falling struck a stump and recoiled, striking him in the chest and pinning him against the hillside near Knappa in northern Clatsop County.

Twin storms in early December toppled and weakened thousands of trees in the Coast Range, and loggers have been clearing the damage since then.

"The blown-down trees have got weird tensions in them," said Bud Henderson of Hampton Affiliates, who helped carry the body from a ravine. "You buck them off, and you don't know which way they're going to go."

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