Weather closes Interstate 84

By Kelly Ducote, The Observer February 26, 2014 11:14 am

Dense fog and black ice causing numerous crashes resulted in Interstate 84 closures through Wednesday morning.

Beginning Monday night, crashes blocking the interstate led the Oregon Department of Transportation to close portions of I-84 off and on through Tuesday and into Wednesday.

Wednesday morning westbound lanes were closed from Pendleton to Ontario. Eastbound lanes were closed from Pendleton to La Grande, according to ODOT spokesperson Tom Strandberg.

“Mainly the issues are up between La Grande and Pendleton,” he said.

Visibility in the Meacham and Cabbage Hill areas was close to zero, and motorists began hitting stalled and crashed vehicles in the area, Strandberg said.

According to Oregon State Police, there were 10 crashes between 4:45 p.m. Monday and midnight Wednesday. Most of those occurred in the Cabbage Hill and Meacham areas, police said. In one Tuesday morning crash, a FedEx trailer split open, when another semi hit it, and spilled freight in the eastbound lanes near Pendleton, according to OSP. Neither driver was injured.

By about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, ODOT had begun to let some vehicles trickle onto the interstate.

“It’ll be a soft opening where we just let a few cars out at a time,” Strandberg said. “We don’t want to open the floodgates and have people get stuck up there again.”


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