Thousands of drivers trapped in Portland snowstorm gridlock
Thursday, December 15, 2016, 11:29 - A major snowstorm hit Portland, Oregon on Wednesday (December 14), causing traffic accidents and forcing the closure of some streets and highways, which trapped thousands of drivers in gridlock during rush hour, officials said.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the area as snow began falling around 1 p.m. (2100GMT), although there were no immediate reports of storm-related injuries.
The city of Portland has been brought to a virtual halt by the snow, said Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesman Dylan Rivera.
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The storm prompted the closure of several major streets, Rivera said. Car accidents due to the weather had also been reported, further exacerbating the slowdown, he added.
The city's bus service, TriMet, said the congestion brought "major delays" on all bus lines, forcing the cancellation of some services.
Several highways in the area were also closed because of the severe snow conditions, the Oregon Department of Transportation added. School will be cancelled on Thursday because of the wintry weather, the Oregon City School District said.
Commuters vented their frustration on social media, posting angry messages and pictures of the congestion under the hashtag #Snowpocalypse, which was trending in the Portland area. See photos and videos, below.
Watch below: Highway 20 near the Hoodoo Ski Area in Oregon, was closed on Wednesday, December 14, due to two avalanches.
Watch below: Timelapse Shows Traffic Over Snow Covered Bridge in Portland