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Hwy. 26 reopens after crashes in snow west of Warm Springs


(Update: Highway 26 reopens)

A 14-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 26 was closed for hours Wednesday night west of Warm Springs due to numerous crashes in snowy, icy road conditions, officials said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation said around 9 p.m. that the highway was closed in both directions from about the Highway 35 junction (the Mt. Hood Highway) to Highway 216.

“Motorists should use different travel routes to Central Oregon until the situation clears,” officials said. There was no immediate word of any injuries.

The highway was reopened again by midnight, according to ODOT’s TripCheck. But chains or traction tires were still required between mileposts 67 and 75.

The travel troubles on that stretch of highway began well before dark. Robin Fossum said they encountered numerous vehicles stuck in the heavy snow and slick roads on a trip back to bend from Portland, as well as an SUV pinned to a guardrail by a semi-truck around 4 p.m. near Blue Box Pass summit.

In Central Oregon, motorists were encountering a wintry mix of snow, rain and freezing rain. In the Bend-Redmond area, temperatures at or below freezing brought scattered bouts of freezing rain that iced up cars (and backyard barbecues and patio furniture) and made for slick driving in places.

Follow the latest traffic conditions at KTVZ.COM’s TripCheck page.

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