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Cold temperatures near zero linger across Central Oregon, creating more challenging road conditions

(Update: Adding video, comments from ODOT, Deschutes County Road Dept., Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As an arctic blast hangs on across Central Oregon and much of the state Monday, businesses and government entities alike are feeling and dealing with the impacts of the frigid temperatures.

The city of Bend wanted to urge you that before you hit those treacherous roads the next couple days, to not make unnecessary trips, let someone know where you're going, and to check conditions before you go on the road.

Chris Doty, Deschutes County Road Department director, told us Monday, "We've been through basically a majority of the subdivisions in the county in the rural area and have made multiple plow passes."

With conditions expected to start warming and clearing up on Tuesday, also bringing a mix of rain and snow, it's been a long weekend for some on the High Desert dealing with the storm conditions.

Weather spotters as of Monday morning reported a foot of snow depth in areas around Bend, 6-9 inches in the Madras area, nearly 10 inches in Prineville, 11.5 to 13 inches in the Redmond area and eight inches in Powell Butte.

ODOT spokeswoman Shelley Snow said, "Crews advise right now, the best thing if you have to be out is give yourself extra time. It's going to take longer no matter where you're going if you have to go."

Monday brought some patchy dense freezing fog over the region, along with pretty but dangerous hoar frost, and continued temperatures in the single digits.

Areas west of the Cascades and to the north also have been put under an ice storm warning for Tuesday and Wednesday, further complicating travel and transportation for business or other reasons.

"It's really bad over in the Willamette Valley, with ice built up even on our main roads, and on parts of I-5, chains are required," Snow said.

(An inversion actually brought warmer conditions Monday at higher elevations, so the holiday crowds at Mt. Bachelor and were enjoying sunshine and temperatures close to or even above freezing.)

Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch is encouraging neighbors to assist the elderly in digging themselves out of all that snow.

"We did get a lot of snow," he said. "I know from first0hand experience shoveling all day Saturday, it wasn't pleasant. So if you have a neighbor who's less able to do that, help them out."

With warmer temperatures and precipitation in the forecast for later this week, the Deschutes County Road Department has tips on what to expect.

Doty said, "Right now, the ground is frozen. So that rain is going to hit the ground. It may look like rain on your car, but it's going to hit the ground and possibly form into ice because of that frozen ground, so don't take anything for granted, as a driver."

Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler also wanted to remind you that you're responsible for clearing sidewalks and fire hydrants in front of your home.

Article Topic Follows: Weather

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Blake Mayfield

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