More snow and ice are on the way

Warming shelters are open in Vancouver

Another winter storm forecasters are predicting could bring snow, sleet, ice and wind — is expected to make its way to the Greater Portland-Vancouver area this weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, when light snow is expected to begin falling. It will be followed by sleet or freezing rain Saturday evening, and into Sunday.

Accumulations of 1 to 3 inches of snow and one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch of ice are expected, depending on elevation.

Relief may not arrive until late Sunday.

“Temperatures are expected to gradually warm above freezing Sunday, away from the Columbia Gorge,” the storm watch stated. “But areas near the Columbia Gorge may remain below freezing into Sunday evening, before finally warming above freezing later Sunday night.”

Although local jurisdictions including Camas, Washougal and Clark County are working to pre-treat heavily used main arterial roads, those who plan to travel should use caution.

“The combination of ice, snow and wind will likely bring down some trees and power lines, leading to power disruptions in some areas,” the storm watch stated. “Public transit may be impacted by the snow and ice, including rail lines. Travel will become difficult as ice and snow are expected to make untreated roads very slick.”

To iprevent ice crystals from bonding to road pavements, Clark County road crews have sprayed salt brine — a mixture of salt and water — on county roads that receive the most traffic.

According to a press release, crews will be ready to respond as winter weather arrives, but what they can do will be limited if the county becomes covered by a sheet of ice.

“Our trucks are chained up and fully stocked with sanding gravel,” said Scott Wilson, Clark County’s road maintenance manager. “We will do what we can to keep our roads passable, but residents should stay off the roads if at all possible.”

For those looking for shelter from the weather, there are some options in Vancouver.

The Council for the Homeless provides information and screening for the Winter Hospitality Overflow, and seasonal severe weather shelters. For more information, call (360) 695-9677.

A walk-in overnight warming center that also provides dinner is operating at Living Hope Church, 2711 N.E. Andresen Road, in Vancouver. It is open Friday, Jan. 6, from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Organizers are hoping to have it open on Saturday, Jan. 7, and Sunday, Jan. 8, as well.

Donations of items such as sleeping bags, socks, gloves, coats and blankets may be dropped off at the church 2711 N.E. Andresen Road, during office hours from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, or from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, at the at chapel, 2533 N.E. Andresen Road.