Inclement weather response
Inclement weather such as flooding, high winds, freezing rain, ice or snow, can create difficult travel conditions. We coordinate all our inclement weather operations with state and local agencies, including mutual aid agreements such as the Cooperative Public Agencies of Washington County.
Because we maintain about 1,300 miles of roadway, we do not have sufficient operations resources to inspect all roads for weather-related issues, either during, after or in anticipation of a storm. Rather, we identify priority routes that provide access to critical facilities (such as hospitals), emergency services and major highways.
High water warning signs are posted when water covers part of a travel lane, but the road can still be used without creating a danger to traffic. Road closure barricades are set up when lanes in one or both directions are under water, or when water is flowing across the roadway.
Permanent, manual-locking flood gates are on Susbauer and Fern Hill roads as both roads frequently flood during heavy rainfall. The Susbauer Road gates are south of Hornecker Road and north of Long Road. The Fern Hill Road gates are south of Taylor Way and north of Geiger Road. The gates lock in place, preventing motorists from driving into floodwaters.
High winds often result in trees falling and blocking roads. Downed trees often involve power lines and our ability to clear the road is dependent on PGE's ability to clear the lines.
Power outages can affect traffic signals. If signals are out or are flashing red, treat intersection as a all-way STOP.
Ice and snow
When icy conditions are predicted, anti-icing materials may be applied in problem areas to minimize slippery conditions. Anti-icing agents are typically applied before inclement weather. Road surface, humidity, air temperature, moisture, weather and other factors are considered before application. When ice or snow creates slick conditions, roads may be sanded to improve traction. A clean, finely graded crushed aggregate or anti-skid material is applied at intersections, curves, hills and other problem areas. Further information about our snow and ice operations is available on our FAQ page.
Additionally, three areas in Washington County have been designated as Snow Snows (Zones de Nieve) – areas where motorists are required by law to have tire chains or traction tires on or in vehicles when traveling on these road segments during severe weather. The zones are located on portions of 175th Avenue, Barnes Road and Cornell Road.