Up to 8 inches of snow shutters schools in Oregon, snarls traffic

PORTLAND (KPTV) -- A December snowstorm dumped as much as eight inches of snow in Oregon on Friday, giving children across the region a rare snow day.

While kids may have celebrated the snow, people who had to drive to work weren't in quite as good of a mood. Tricky driving conditions resulted in a nightmare of a commute, with a two-hour drive time going from Hillsboro to Portland, and a 2 1/2-hour drive time from La Center to the Fremont Bridge.

The official total at Portland International Airport was one inch of snow, and FOX 12 viewers reported anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of snow in Albany, plus 7 to 8 inches of snow in Corvallis.

The snowstorm also lived up to its billing on the Oregon coast, where towns like Newport and Rockaway Beach woke up to a blanket of white on the beach.

"This is what we were hoping for when we heard the weather report. We were looking forward to it," said Kevin Wolfer, who lives in Lincoln City. "I think it's been some 20 years since we had any snow down to the beach."

FOX 12 meteorologist Mark Nelsen said the main band of snow turned out to be farther north than originally expected, and temperatures were in the mid 20s around Portland.

The snow and ice created some dangerous roadways in southwest Washington. In Vancouver, Wash., there were collisions on I-5, I-205 and SR-14.  Washington State Department of Transportation crews responded by de-icing the roads, and they advised taking it slow and giving extra time for the commute.

On Interstate 5 in Linn County, the Oregon Department of Transportation made chains a requirement and told drivers to be ready to encounter congestion, crashes and delays there.

Oregon State University in Corvallis closed its campus at noon because of the inclement weather.

The snowstorm comes amidst the coldest temperatures Portland has seen in years. The 7-Day Forecast shows low temperatures in the teens, possibly even 12 degrees on Sunday.