Big chill brings snow, freezing rain to local area

Schools in Washougal were closed Monday and Tuesday

For the second consecutive day, icy road conditions led to the closure of Washougal schools.

After initially announcing a two-hour late start Monday night, Washougal and Mt. Pleasant school district officials decided to close schools on Tuesday due to changing weather conditions.

Meanwhile, Camas delayed the start of classes by two hours.

Schools were closed in all three local districts on Monday. Students had been scheduled to return that day after their two-week winter break.

The National Weather Service’s freezing rain advisory for the Portland-Vancouver metro area continued through 10 a.m. today. Forecasters called for temperatures to increase mid-day, and stay in the mid to upper 30s.

The most significant impacts were felt near the Columbia River Gorge and the higher terrain around the Portland-Vancouver metro areas.

“Roads to remain slick in places from previous snow and ice, as temperatures remain near or just below freezing in many areas,” the advisory stated. “Any additional light icing will exacerbate this problem.”

The cold weather front arrived in the area early Sunday morning, when the Camas-Washougal area saw about 2 inches of snowfall. Higher elevations saw a touch more, although high winds kept it from sticking to roadways in some of those areas.

The situation got worse later that evening, when a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain hit the area, Temperatures in the 30s created an icy commute on Monday morning.

City crews in Camas and Washougal were dousing the streets with de-icer, as well as plowing and sanding priority roadways.

Several of the area’s steep side-streets were closed to traffic, including those in Camas at Northeast Dallas, from Sixth to 15th avenues, Division Street, between Sixth and 12th avenues, and Dahlia Street, between 31st and 35th streets.

In Washougal, “W” Street was closed between 32nd and 39th streets, and North Sixth Street was closed between “U” Street and Eighth Street.

Forecasters are cautioning that another bout of freezing rain could impact the area on Wednesday morning. After that, however, weather conditions during the rest of the week should continue to improve with periods of rain and sunshine. Temperatures will reach into the high 30s.