Oregon November 09, 2017
A Massive Blizzard Blanketed Oregon In Snow Last Year And It Will Never Be Forgotten
Oregon’s winter of 2017 was one for the history books. All across the state a massive snowstorm wreaked havoc on roads, buildings, and our lives. Countless people were stranded, millions of pounds of crops were damaged, and numerous roads were ravaged. Read on to see why last year’s snowstorm will not be forgotten anytime soon.
On January 11, 2017 governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency in Oregon due to dangerous levels of snow across the state.
In the Portland metro area, snow had accumulated to a depth of 6-12 inches.
Downed trees and branches from the snow caused extensive damage, wiping out power lines and smashing into buildings. Seven trees came down on the Portland State University campus in one night, damaging two buildings.
In Crook County, the small community of Juniper Acres was cut off from emergency resources due to snow-ravaged roads. A medical evacuation had to be completed by snow mobile, since ambulances could not access the area.
Elsewhere, snow fall caused numerous road closures and delays. I-84 between Troutdale and Hood River was closed in both directions due to snow drifts, ice, fallen trees and severe conditions. Many drivers were forced to abandon their cars.
The southern part of the state was also affected, particularly Crater Lake National Park. The visitor center (pictured) was almost completely snowed in. In 2017, the average snow depth was around 100 inches. In comparison, the average depth was only 50 inches in 2015.
In Astoria, 2 to 5 inches of snow had accumulated by February 6. While it usually snows once or twice every winter in this town, it's extremely rare for it to reach such a depth.
Perhaps nowhere in Oregon was hit as hard as Malheur County. In a normal winter, this part of eastern Oregon sees about 12 inches of snow. Last winter, Malheur County saw 44 inches. The relentless snow and ice caused extensive damage, destroying an estimated 115 million to 150 million pounds of onion crops and collapsing multiple barns.
This massive snowstorm was truly one of the worst weather events in Oregon history.
To see more of the historic snowstorm, check out this drone footage of Portland from YouTube user Michael Demi: VIDEO
Do you have memories from last year’s snowstorm? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
For a look back at another catastrophic event in Oregon’s history, check out our previous article:
A Terrifying, Deadly Storm Struck Oregon In 1962 And No One Saw It Coming.