Towns around us got more, running from two or three to five inches of the white blanket, and it caused major grief for the rush hour commute, since nobody was expecting it and they weren't prepared.
Lot of folks took off from work early -- my wife left her office in downtown Portland at 3:40 p.m. So everybody who would normally leave in shifts -- four, five, five-thirty, six p.m. boogied at once.
They waited too long.
The plows weren't out, no sand or gravel down, and when the traffic hit the inclines on the highways leaving town? Cars, trucks, and buses slid hither and yon, smacked into each other, the barriers, turned sideways, and couldn't move.
The accidents blocked the main roads. Emergency vehicles couldn't get there. The highways became parking lots. The normally twenty to thirty minute commute from Portland to Beaverton took my wife three and a half hours, she got home just after seven p.m. -- and she was lucky.
This was compounded by vehicles stuck unmoving that ran out of gasoline. Or those that were simply abandoned in the middle of the roads by drivers who had to pee or pop after three or four hours. Weren't enough tow trucks to move the parked cars fast enough.
Some folks, seeing the news, decided to have dinner or drinks in town and wait for it to clear out. The snow was supposed to turn to rain later, and it did, but it wasn't enough to wash the streets clean, only turn it into slush. It warmed up -- to 34º F. -- which is not exactly a blowtorch, and it didn't get better.
All eleven p.m., the traffic cams showed the main highways were all still bumper-to-bumper leaving the city, and there were people who stepped out of their their offices at four o'clock who didn't get home until after midnight. Not only could they have walked it faster, they could have crawled it faster.
Road are mostly clear this a.m. though there is still plenty of snow on the ground. Supposed to rain more tonight and tomorrow.
We'll see ...