State Of Emergency Declared by Gov Kotek In Jackson, Curry & Other Counties as Medford Gears Up For Winter Storm

Expressing gratitude to local leaders, service providers, and state agency personnel who collaborated in assessing the damage quickly, and provided immediate aid for community members left vulnerable by the severe storms. Gov. Tina Kotek declared a state of emergency for Jackson, Curry, Douglas, Coos, and Tillamook counties today following the devastating storms that lashed Oregon last month.

Starting on December 1, 2023, the storms raged through till December 12, 2023, resulting in heavy rain. The consequent landslides and erosion in various locations within these counties led to critical transportation failures which will need a concerted effort to clean up and repair. Kotek confirmed that there was also damage to state highways throughout these counties- caused by the storm system, with scour, washouts, debris flows and mudslides developing in various places.

Declaring a state of emergency means the affected counties can now receive federal resources through the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). These go towards rebuilding and counteracting damage from the storms. In addition, ODOT can now seek federal resources to help in the long-term recovery from the storm as a result of the declaration.

You can check out the weather in Ashland along with local weather alerts here.



City Of Medford Gears Up For Winter Storm

In Medford, the biggest city in Jackson County, at elevations above 1,500 feet in Rogue Valley snow is expected to start falling on Sunday. In light of this, preparations are taking place in various cities. In Medford, the City’s public works director- John Vial, confirmed that the City generally prepares for the season, rather than just gearing up when snow is expected.

Making it as safe as possible for the public, Medford has got everything covered to clear the roads, but they need the public to play their part by driving responsibly, ensuring that they keep their speeds down, and get to where it’s easier for the City to do its job. To facilitate this, in recent years Medford has got new equipment that will help in effecting road maintenance.

Vial confirmed that Medford did not have any snow plows until last year, when the one plow, they had was used a couple of times. In the meantime, more plows have been added and the city is now up to three snow plows. The extra equipment will enable Medford to deploy its own units to roads much sooner than in the past when it had to rely on the state or county for additional winter road maintenance.

Medford- like most cities- has priority roads to clear. Cleaning up starts near hospitals, followed by school routes, where the crews are dispatched first- followed by the lower order roads. Vial warned that it is important to know which roads will be plowed or sanded first for drivers to understand where they should be extra careful. Vial says, “In winter weather, snow plows and sand only do so much good.” He recommends that any driver who is not comfortable driving in winter weather should wait it out for a couple of hours, as the storms mostly don’t last long in the area. More often than not, things clear up quickly within a few hours.

Other cities in the area are also making plans and their respective websites will give an indication of which areas will get plowed first. The plow routes can be found on city maps which can be found here:


Medford and Ashland’s city snow plow route maps can be found here.
The City of Klamath Falls’ Keith Fournier has said that nothing has changed, and their maps can be found here.





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