Snow keeps drivers, students home again in Oregon

February 27, 2007 11:00 pm

Associated Press

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Wet snow blanketed much of the Rogue Valley for the third straight day Tuesday, closing schools, cutting off power and disrupting traffic.

Some 13,000 students had no school as snowy roads forced closures in Grants Pass, Three Rivers, Rogue River and Glendale school districts. Fears of continued snowy conditions prompted schools in Central Point, Eagle Point, Ruch, Gold Hill and Shady Cove to send students home early.

About 360 customers lost power in the Illinois Valley, said Pacific Power spokesman Monte Mendenhall. The utility brought in two extra crews to deal with power lines downed by snow.

The Oregon Department of Trans-portation closed Interstate 5 from 2 a.m. to 4:45 a.m. Tuesday to plow mountain passes between Glendale and Grants Pass. Plows were working in 6 inches of snow at the Grants Pass interchange.

Depths ranged from an inch in downtown Grants Pass, where much of it had melted by afternoon, to as much as 17 inches in some of the outlying hills.

Mount Ashland Ski Area reported 63 inches of new snow in the past week, creating good conditions for an upcoming high school skiing and boarding competition, said event manager Mike Dadaos.

Crater Lake National Park reported nine inches of new snow, but plows were able to open the main park access road and the road to Rim Village. The roads had been closed Monday.