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C.O. freezing rain, icy roads shut, delay classes


Freezing rain encased much of the High Desert in a slick sheet of ice early Tuesday, canceling Bend-La Pine, Redmond, Sisters, COCC and OSU-Cascades classes and contributing to crashes around the region.

“Everything is just encased in ice,” NewsChannel 21 Chief Meteorologist Bob Shaw said. “It’s like what you’d see in the Columbia River Gorge — and it’s treacherous driving. Give yourselves loads of time” heading to work or school.

“I had to put out de-icer to get out the steps (at home), so it’s right up to the front door,” Shaw said. “If you don’t have to go out, it’d be a good morning to stay home and stay out of it.”

NeighborImpact said its Bend and La Pine HeadStart classes were closed for the day. Redmond’s HeadStart canceled its morning and midday classes.

Word also came of canceled classes at Three Sisters Adventist Christian School, Trinity Lutheran School and Bend Parks and Rec’s Kids Inc. Westside Church offices were delayed until 10 a.m.

There was no word of any Jefferson or Crook county school delays or closures — except that Powell Butte Community Charter School is closed.

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The National Weather Service issued a freezing rain advisory through 10 a.m. Tuesday, warning of accumulations of up to one-tenth of an inch of ice.. Shaw said warmer temperatures above the surface allowed the precipitation to fall as rain — then freeze on contact with the frozen ground.

Beginning about 2:40 a.m., Airport Way and Yew Avenue was blocked for close to two hours at the Highway 97 overpass due to a jackknifed semi, and about 5 a.m. came a report of a three-vehicle crash blocking the intersection of Knott Road and Country Club Drive on the south end of Bend.

Viewers reported freezing rain all over, from south Deschutes County to Prineville and a resulting coating of ice.

“Just tried to go to the gym,” Ashley Torrance wrote on our Facebook page. “My car is frozen shut and I can’t walk on the driveway. Back to bed with me.”

The city of Bend said it had 15 rigs out, including a dozen sanders and three magnesium chloride deicing trucks. Crews hit the streets just before 4 a.m. and police worked with public works crews on troublesome areas, said city Communications Director Justin Finestone.

Shaw predicted temperatures rising to the mid to upper 30s — not that warm, but hopefully warm enough to ease the road (and sidewalk) treachery.

We’ll have the latest tonight on NewsChannel 21 at Five, Ten and Eleven (our 6 p.m. broadcast is pre-empted by the president’s State of the Union address).

And Wednesday morning, we’ll have any word on closures or delays from 5-7 a.m. on NewsChannel 21 at Sunrise — then the crawl (if there are closures or delays) will be updated over our Fox rebroadcast of the news from 7-9 a.m. And turn to us on Facebook, Twitter and KTVZ.COM for the latest info.

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