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C.O. slowly thaws from bout of freezing rain

By Barney Lerten
Published On: Feb 27 2014 08:10:53 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 27 2014 01:40:17 PM CST
Hwy. 20 crash Horse Ridge

ODOT TripCheck

Crews cleared crash on Highway 20 at Horse Ridge east of Bend Thursday morning as freezing rain caused icy roads across Central Oregon

BEND, Ore. -

Freezing fog and rain on frozen ground made for treacherous roads around the High Desert Thursday morning, prompting two-hour school delays for Bend-La Pine, Redmond and Crook County schools.

The National Weather Service in Pendleton extended its winter weather advisory for Central Oregon to 3 p.m. Thursday, warning that freezing rain would continue in the morning, though "temperatures are expected to get above freezing in the afternoon." They warned of ice accumulations of 1/10 to 2/10 of an inch below 4,500 feet.

Fortunately, temperatures by late morning crept to or above freezing for many, easing the road dangers. However, the Bend, Redmond and Madras airports all reported 32 degrees at 11 a.m. Bend had light rain, Redmond "mixed precipitation" and Madras light drizzle.

Interestingly, Deschutes County 911 dispatchers got far fewer crash reports Thursday morning than they did early Wednesday -- when there were a dozen crashes or slide-offs -- presumably because the roads were so bad, folks didn't even try to drive on them.

"If you do not have to go out this morning - don't," NewsChannel 21 Chief Meteorologist Bob Shaw said on Thursday's Sunrise show. "Everything is very icy, from the steps out your front door to the streets."

"It is just plain treacherous out there, gang," he added at 6 a.m. "If you can stay home, please do so."

Trinity Lutheran School and Eastmont School also were on a two-hour delay. Bend-La Pine and Redmond also reported no AM kindergarten; while Bend Parks and Rec's AM Kids Inc. was canceled.

St. Francis of Assisi School also was on a two-hour delay, as was Seven Peaks School, while the Waldorf School of Bend was on a two-hour delay with no morning kindergarten. Happy Learners Preschool canceled morning classes.

Three Sisters Adventist Christian School and Central Christian School in Redmond canceled classes. NeighborImpact morning classes were canceled across the region, while Cascades East Transit and Culver school buses were on their snow routes.

COCC in Bend reported College Way was sanded and in good shape, as was the campus, so there was no delay there.

Those are the delays or closures we have heard so far. If you have more to share, please e-mail stories@ktvz.com.

While there also were slick streets and crashes Wednesday morning, Shaw noted that the expected warm-upĀ  later in the daydidn't materialize as a storm moving in from the southwest stalled.

"Everybody was calling for warmer temperatures" in the area Wednesday, he said, including the National Weather Service -- but while areas to the south warmed up, the High Desert stayed below freezing.

And that means the rain is falling onto the frozen ground, making things dicey indeed for travelers.

But Shaw said the warmer air pushing n from the south should indeed warm the region Thursday into the mid 40s, though rain showers will linger much of the day. That could pose some problems Friday morning, as lows again are expected to dip below freezing again under mostly cloudy skies.

Stay tuned to NewsChannel 21 and KTVZ.COM for the latest information, including an updated 'crawl' at the bottom of the screen during our Sunrise rebroadcasts on Fox from 7-9 a.m.

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