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DailyTidings.com
  • Snow piles up on mountain roads

  • More than 8 inches of snow dropped overnight, leading Crater Lake National Park rangers to shut down roads.
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  • More than 8 inches of snow dropped overnight, leading Crater Lake National Park rangers to shut down roads.
    Officials closed the East Rim Drive for the season and temporarily closed the north entrance off Highway 138.
    While many of the park's 40-person staff are scrambling to keep traffic flowing and visitors safe, the call whether to keep the north entrance open or close it for the season will be made by the chief ranger and maintenance chief later today, said spokesperson Stephanie Jones from the park's dispatch center.
    "We're definitely having some weather right now," Jones said. "It started picking up around 8 p.m. (Sunday) and we've had some real good snow coming in. The rim drive is covered and the entrances have some snow as well. We're plowing the north entrance right now, so it's not closed at this time.
    Park visitation usually drops off during September and snow typically ushers in north entrance and road closures.
    "This is just about the right time," she said.
    The south entrance off Highway 62 remains open. While some motorists are deterred by the white stuff, others revel at the first sign of winter sports season.
    "If they are used to snow, they don't mind driving up," Jones said. "But it definitely deters people from coming into the park."
    While there has been scattered precipitation in recent weeks, this is the first serious snowfall of the season.
    "We got some snow over weekend that covered the trees a little," she said.
    A special weather statement from the National Weather Service office in Medford said a cold, wet low pressure system off the Oregon coast will continue to pump moisture over western Oregon through Wednesday. Snow levels will fall to around 4,000 feet today and as low as 3,000 feet tonight, the statement said. Light snow will fall nearly continuously over the mountains through Wednesday with waves of more intense weather expected tonight and Tuesday night.
    Areas above 5,000 feet in elevation, including Siskiyou Pass and passes over the Cascades, likely will get three to five inches of snow, the statement said.
    — Greg Stiles
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