WEATHER: Ice storm warning issued for Tuesday, Salem flights canceled

Update, Monday, 10:30 a.m. – Ice storm warning

The National Weather Service in Portland has issued an ice storm warning for the Salem area Tuesday, saying significant icing is expected.

The warning is in effect from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. Between two-tenths and four-tenths of an inch of ice is expected to accumulate, likely resulting in power outages and tree damage.

“Travel is strongly discouraged. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. Prepare for possible power outages,” the warning said.

Update, Monday, 10 a.m. – Cherriots running, Avelo flights canceled

Cherriots is operating Monday at reduced Saturday service levels. Buses are chained and may be delayed due to slower travel, the transit agency said.

Some routes may have snow detours in effect. Check for up-to-date information.

Avelo Airlines has canceled all flights departing from and returning to the Salem Municipal Airport Monday.

Original story below:

Salem residents should continue to expect icy roads and temperatures well below freezing through Monday night.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a warmer Tuesday, but Salem won’t be in the clear even then. 

The agency has issued a winter storm watch effective Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for Salem and much of the valley. A similar alert for the Portland Metro area will last until 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The Salem-Keizer School District has canceled classes Monday and Tuesday due to the severe weather. The cancellation includes the online EDGE program, and district offices will also be closed.

Future delays or school closures will be announced on the district’s app, ParentSquare, social media channels and the school district website.

Meanwhile, Salem city crews have placed 1,000 tons of sand across the city and used 1,600 gallons of de-icer during this winter storm. They will continue to work 24 hours a day in the next few days, according to city spokesman Trevor Smith.

“Things are slowly improving on major streets but neighborhood streets continue to be icy,” Smith said. “Bridges and on-ramps seem to be doing well at the moment. Anyone attempting to travel today should be aware that intersections can be icier and that everyone needs to increase their stopping distance. We would also like to remind people to take it slow.”

Bob O’Brian, an eight year old sable long-coat collie, was enjoying the trails near the creek at Bush’s Pasture Park with his owner on Sunday, Jan. 14. Bob seemed in his element in the cold temperatures (Rebekah Willhite/Special to Salem Reporter)

The Salem Municipal Airport remained closed Sunday. All campuses of the Salem Child Development Center will also be closed on Monday. 

The Weather Service is forecasting a Sunday night low around 19 degrees, with calm winds around 5 miles per hour after midnight. 

On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a high near 28 is expected with winds around 5 to 7 miles per hour.

A planned celebration of the holiday at McKay High School is postponed, organizers said.

A low around 14 degrees is expected Monday night, with winds around 5 miles per hour becoming “light and variable” in the evening, according to the Weather Service.

Significant icing is possible, with total ice buildup of two-tenths to three-tenths of an inch, the agency said in its winter storm watch.

“Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice. Travel could be difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute,” according to the alert.

Freezing rain is in the forecast after 10 a.m. Tuesday, with a high near 36 and light wind expected. A low around 30 degrees is expected Tuesday evening as well as wind gusts up to 18 miles per hour.

A trail with lampposts at Bush’s Pasture Park on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024 (Rebekah WillhiteSpecial to Salem Reporter)

Closures and cancellations

All Avelo flights in and out of the Salem Municipal Airport are canceled Monday.

The Salem Family YMCA is closed Monday.

Willamette Heritage Center is closed Monday and Tuesday.

School is cancelled Tuesday for the Salem-Keizer School District. All district activities are cancelled and buildings closed Monday and Tuesday.

Useful links

Road conditions: Tripcheck and City of Salem road updates

Warming shelters: What’s open and when

Weather forecast: National Weather Service

Report or view power outages: Portland General Electric and Salem Electric

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.