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December Storms Bring Much-Needed Snow To West Coast Mountains

Travel Oregon
Credit Travel Oregon

The series of storms hitting the Northwest this month are bringing heavy rain, snow and strong winds. This is causing flooding, landslides, road closures and power outages. A Portland hydrologist says the short-term trouble brings long-term benefits.

The wet and wintery weather is continuing through Christmas Day, but tapering off as the day wears on. There's a small break on Saturday before precipitation returns Sunday. That's a busy travel day for people returning home from their Christmas break.

Andy Bryant with the National Weather Service in Portland says all this moisture is a much-needed gift for the west.

Andy Bryant: "We've got a lot of snow in the Cascades. That's good long term to help alleviate drought conditions, hopefully, next spring and summer. And in the short term for those who are enjoying winter recreation, we haven't had these kinds of conditions for a few years. So it's great for skiers and snowboarders and other folks up enjoying the snow in the Cascades. You've just got to be really careful getting there and getting home."

All of the ski resorts in Oregon are open. Mount Ashland, which was closed most of last year due to lack of snow, reported 42 inches in the past week with double that amount at the upper part of the mountain.

Copyright 2015 KLCC

Angela Kellner
Angela Kellner is the KLCC host of All Things Considered and a reporter. Angela began as a KLCC volunteer in 1991 when she was in high school. While a student at Lane Community College, she was hired in 1993 for a work-study position in the KLCC Music Department and has been with the station in some role since then. Angela hosted KLCC's world music program Tropical Beat for 11 years from 1994 to 2005 and continues to fill in on a monthly basis.