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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.