Ice storm could create dangerous conditions on Sunday

Travelers should use caution

After Saturday’s high winds and snowfall, forecasters are next predicting an ice storm will hit the area Sunday.

The National Weather Service’s Portland office issued an ice storm warning on Saturday night. The system is expected to bring with it severe weather conditions that will continue through 10 p.m. Sunday.

In the Portland Metro and Vancouver areas, including Camas and Washougal, light freezing rain will fall overnight on Saturday, and increase on Sunday. Up to one-half inch to three-quarters of an inch of ice could accumulate.

Wind gusts could reach up to 50 mph, but are expected to decrease Sunday afternoon.

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

If power lines do come down, Clark Public Utilities recommends always assuming they are live and staying far away. These kinds of incidents, as well as power outages, can be reported by calling (360) 992-8000, or visiting www.clarkpublicutilities.com/outages-safety.

By Sunday afternoon, the freezing rain will change to rain in the western part of the metro area. In the east, however, the freezing rain will continue into Sunday evening.

According to the National Weather Service warning, these conditions could make navigating the area dangerous. Travel on Sunday should be avoided.

“If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of emergency,” the warning said. “Ice accumulations and winds will likely lead to snapped power lines and falling tree branches that add to the danger.”