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Archive | February, 2011

Snow and Ice

Posted on 25th February 2011 at 08:46

The heavy snow that had been predicted for the local area arrived a day late, with about six inches of snow falling in the downtown area last night, followed by extreme cold after that. The Weather Service recorded a low of 16 degrees in Kelso, just before 4 am, while other locations around the area dipped down to the 20-degree mark. That has made for extremely treacherous driving conditions all around the area. Main streets in town are coated with packed snow and ice, while lesser-traveled streets and roads and covered with deep snow. With the extremely cold temperatures, nothing is melting, and that snow is packing right down as people drive on it. I-5 through Cowlitz County is also a sheet of ice, with numerous crashes reported overnight. The worst one happened around 7 pm, when a semi jackknifed at milepost 38 northbound in Kelso, blocking all three lanes of the freeway. Traffic backed up for miles as other vehicles also spun out. They got this removed at about 9:15 pm, but the traffic backup lasted for hours. Law enforcement agencies and tow companies were busy all night long, pulling cars out of ditches. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported out of any of these collisions. Those conditions are continuing this morning, with several spinouts already reported. It’s one of those days where if you don’t have to drive, don’t.

Snow Impacts

Posted on 25th February 2011 at 08:46

The snow also had a number of other impacts; the Cowlitz PUD responded to a pair of power outages, one on Allen Street and the second up on Ostrander Road. 219 customers at the east end of Allen Street lost power at 6:39 pm, when a snow-laden limb took down a line in the area of PG Sweet Road. Those repairs were completed at 10:47 pm. 21 customers were affected up on Ostrander, also by a tree falling into an overhead line. Several other small outages have also been reported. The folks at the DAPC facility on South Silver Lake Road called 911 at about 8:20 pm, claiming that someone was shooting at their facility. They claimed to have heard someone firing a semi-automatic weapon at their buildings, with as many as 20 rounds fired, including some that had hit the building. Deputies responded and checked the area, and it was eventually determined that the sounds were coming from chunks of snow falling out of the trees and hitting the building’s roof.

Cookie Cutters

Posted on 25th February 2011 at 08:45

Two young men are being cited after they were reported to be cutting cookies in the snow at Tam O’Shanter Park in Kelso. A call came in shortly before midnight, reporting that two vehicles were driving around out on the fields. A pickup and a passenger car were stopped, with both drivers cited and released.

Pacific County Crashes

Posted on 25th February 2011 at 08:45

The State Patrol responded to a pair of serious car crashes reported yesterday in Pacific County, including one fatality. The first crash took place just after 5 pm, on SR 103 near Ocean Park. Tyler Schmitz, 26, of Ocean Park was northbound, when his SUV left the road and rolled twice, ejecting him. Schmitz was taken to Ocean Beach Hospital, then was transferred to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. It’s noted that Schmitz was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, and Troopers say that DUI charges are pending.

Around 7:15 pm, Nathaniel Dust, 26, of Seaview was killed in a one-car crash on Highway 101, about five miles north of the Washington-Oregon border. Troopers say that Dust was the driver of a northbound SUV, then the rig went off the road to the right. The Ford Explorer hit a power pole and the side of a church, then rolled and came to rest on its top. Dust died at the scene, while a passenger, Christopher Rowe, 22, of Ashland complained of neck and back pain. He was transported to Columbia Hospital, then was also transferred to Legacy Emanuel in Portland. It’s noted that Dust was wearing his seat belt. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Missing Kids

Posted on 25th February 2011 at 08:44

An all-points bulletin has been issued between here and the Mexican border, looking for a woman and five children that are missing from the Kelso area. Child Protective Services asked for the APB yesterday afternoon, saying that Sylvia Precidao-Chavez, 33, apparently had taken off with the children, leaving a home on South 12th Avenue. CPS officials say that the children, ranging from one to 13 years of age, had been placed in the custody of Precidao-Chavez, but they haven’t been seen since the 18th of this month. It’s speculated that Precidao-Chavez is on her way to California or Mexico. Authorities haven’t released a possible method of travel. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Sylvia Precidao-Chavez and these five children, call 911 or your local police agency right away.

Business Expo

Posted on 25th February 2011 at 08:43

Even with the snow and ice, they’re still planning to forge ahead with the first-ever Cowlitz County Regional Business Expo, running from 11 am until 4 pm today at the Regional Conference and Events Center. More than 100 businesses are scheduled to take part in this event, intended as a showcase of products and services, along with networking for those who are taking part. Because of the conditions, exhibitors are being given some extra time to get set up, so the timing could be delayed by about an hour. After the Expo itself, an Afterhours Reception for exhibitors and guests, with more than 400 people expected. Contact Cowlitz County Tourism at 577-3137 or the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce for additional information.

Comedy Night

Posted on 25th February 2011 at 08:43

There’s also a Comedy Night planned for this evening at the Kelso Theatre Pub, a fundraiser for the Kelso High School class of 2011. Three comedians are scheduled to perform, with the doors opening at 8:30 pm and the show to start at 9. Tickets will be available at the door.

Closures–8:10 am, 2/25/11

Posted on 25th February 2011 at 08:09

Lower Columbia CAP – Closed
Family Health Center – All clinics are closed today
Lower Columbia College – Closed; African-American History month event and “Three Views of Love” theatre production also postponed.
Longview – Closed
Kelso – Closed. No intersession activities at Wallace Elementary.
Castle Rock – Closed
Toutle Lake – Closed
Kalama – Closed
Woodland – Bus 9, 17, 20, 67, 81, & 98 on snow routes, Bus 97 will only travel to Saddle Road

Rainier – Closed
Clatskanie – Closed
Vernonia – Closed
St. Helens – Closed
Scappoose – AM and PM buses on snow routes, no bus service on upper Church
*Knappa – Closed
Jewell – Buses on snow routes
Warrenton-Hammond – Closed
Astoria – Closed
Toledo (WA) – Closed
LCC Head Start/Early Head Start & E-CAP – Closed
St. Rose School – Closed
CUBS – Several route changes are in effect, check the CUBS website or Flashnews.net for full details.
Worksource – Plans to open at 10 am.
Three Rivers Christian – Elementary and Jr./Sr. High School closed. Child Development Center on normal operating hours. Saturday’s School Carnival canceled and will be rescheduled.
Kelso Christian Academy – Closed

Closures–6:20 am, 2/25/11

Posted on 25th February 2011 at 06:25

Lower Columbia College – Closed; African-American History month event and “Three Views of Love” theatre production also postponed.
Longview – Closed
Kelso – Closed. No intersession activities at Wallace Elementary.
Castle Rock – Closed
Toutle Lake – Closed
Kalama – Closed
Woodland – Bus 9, 17, 20, 67, 81, & 98 on snow routes, Bus 97 will only travel to Saddle Road
Rainier – Closed
Clatskanie – Closed
Vernonia – Closed
St. Helens – Closed
Scappoose – AM and PM buses on snow routes, no bus service on upper Church
Jewell – Buses on snow routes
Warrenton-Hammond – Closed
Astoria – Closed
Toledo (WA) – Closed
LCC Head Start/Early Head Start & E-CAP – Closed
St. Rose School – Closed
CUBS – Several route changes are in effect, check the CUBS website or Flashnews.net for full details.
Worksource – Plans to open at 10 am.
Three Rivers Christian – Elementary and Jr./Sr. High School closed. Child Development Center on normal operating hours. Saturday’s School Carnival canceled and will be rescheduled.
Kelso Christian Academy – Closed

Closures–5:00 am, 2/25/11

Posted on 25th February 2011 at 05:18

Longview – Closed
Kelso – Closed. No intersession activities at Wallace Elementary.
Castle Rock – Closed
Toutle Lake – Closed
Kalama – Closed
Rainier – Closed
Clatskanie – Closed
Vernonia – Closed
Warrenton-Hammond – Closed
LCC Head Start/Early Head Start & E-CAP – Closed
Worksource – Plans to open at 10 am.