Rogue Valley News, Tuesday, Nov. 26 – Winter Storm in Southern Oregon Arrives

News and Weather update from around the Rogue Valley and the state of Oregon from RogueValleyMagazine.com.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2019

Rogue Valley Weather – STORM ALERT!

Tonight
Rain showers before 8pm, then rain and snow showers. Low around 31. Windy with winds of 33 to 40 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Wednesday
Rain and snow showers likely, mainly before 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 39. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.  Overnight, a slight chance of rain and snow showers before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day
Mostly sunny, with a high near 38. Overnight low of 17 degrees.

Friday
Sunny, with a high near 38.

Saturday
A slight chance of snow before 11am, then a chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42.

TODAY’s HEADLINES

UPDATE 5PM:

I-5 at milepost 78. Drive carefully please.

Travel remains treacherous and not advised tonight (Nov. 26) along the I-5 corridor and other southwest interior Oregon highways. Several highways are closed due to either blizzard conditions and downed trees.

Oregon 138 east of Roseburg is closed due to blizzard conditions from Toketee east to U.S. 97. Oregon 62 from Prospect north, including Oregon 230 to Diamond Lake Junction, is also closed due to white out conditions. Oregon 255 (Carpenterville Highway), which parallels U.S. 101 between Pistol River and Brookings, is closed due to downed trees.

Chains are required both northbound and southbound on the I-5 Siskiyou Summit, south of Ashland. Caltrans is also reporting chain requirements south of the border with heavy snow, blizzard conditions and crashes near Mt. Shasta. Significant traffic back-ups have been observed on road cameras. Caltrans is holding northbound commercial trucks at Redding. Delay travel into this area.

Oregon Highways 38, 42, 42S and U.S. 101 are also reporting either downed trees or power lines, though all remain open to at least a single lane as of Tuesday afternoon.

Travel is not advised in southwest Oregon tonight. Be prepared for wind, low visibility and poor winter driving conditions until the storm passes. Motorists are urged to drive to the conditions as there have been numerous spin-outs and crashes.

Monitor www.Tripcheck.com in Oregon and Quickmap.dot.ca.gov in California for the latest travel conditions.

Winter driving tips available at: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/pages/winter-driving.aspx

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens that a storm “of historic levels” is supposed to hit Josephine County this afternoon. 

The Sheriff’s Office strongly suggests citizens avoid any travel unless necessary.  With reported high winds due to arrive this afternoon, loss of power is a strong possibility.  Charge cellular phones in advance and have flashlights ready in case there is a power loss.  If travel is necessary, please be prepared for the upcoming weather.  Have a supply of food, water, clothing and blankets with you and share your travel plans/route with friends and family. 

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and wants to remind you to be prepared for the predicted winter weather conditions arriving just ahead of the holiday.  Take precautions ahead of time before you travel or if you plan to visit the many outdoor recreation sites in our beautiful forests.

Prepare for driving in winter conditions by stocking your vehicle with emergency supplies and tools. Have enough of the following for each person: – blankets or sleeping bags and extra sets of dry clothing such as mittens, socks, and wool hats. Bring a shovel.

Be sure to have a supply of extra food including nuts, and high energy snacks, warm drinks in a thermos and several bottles of water.

Before leaving, listen to weather reports for your trip route and look at Oregon Trip Check for the latest road conditions. TRIPCHECK.com

Let a friend, neighbor or family member know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If you have a problem along the way, help can be sent quicker along your predetermined route.

Bring a cell phone and charger with you.  Be prepared and be safe this holiday season.

With predictions of high winds and snow in the next few days, Pacific Power reminds its customers and the public to take precautions to stay safe and comfortable.

“Snow and high winds can knock down trees and powerlines causing power outages,” said David Lucas, Pacific Power vice president, operations. “We are staging additional crews and equipment in preparation for the storm projected to impact Southern Oregon and Northern California mid-day Tuesday through Wednesday afternoon. With the storm having the potential to affect holiday celebrations, we are pulling out all the stops to mobilize or crews as needed.”

 Every home and business should have an Emergency Outage Kit that includes the following:

  • Flashlight
  • Battery-operated radio and clock
  • Extra batteries
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water
  • Blankets

If a power outage occurs, Pacific Power encourages customers to first check their fuses and circuit breakers. If the power failure is not caused inside the home or business, customers should report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.

 Get the App. The new Pacific Power App for mobile devices can become invaluable during an outage. You can report and track an outage affecting you from your mobile device. The app is free and can be downloaded on the App Store or Google Play. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net/app.

 Pacific Power suggests these safety precautions:

  • Stay away from all downed power lines and utility lines. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could be energized and extremely dangerous. Call 911 and report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.
  • This current storm system may cause flooding. Be especially careful of any standing water or even soggy ground. A live down wire may seem to be a safe distance away, but is still extremely dangerous due to wet conditions.
  • Don’t drive over downed power lines.

As a part of ongoing efforts to improve pedestrian safety in the City of Medford, the Medford Police Department has conducted a 4 hour pedestrian safety enforcement operation that focused on motorists who failed to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.

Pedestrian safety is a key issue in our community, and the Medford Police Department is committed to upholding pedestrian safety laws to protect our citizens.

Most recently, on Saturday, November 23rd, 2019, a pedestrian enforcement and education program was conducted in the City of Medford at the intersection of Poplar Dr. and Progress Rd., which specifically focused on drivers and pedestrians who were violating right-of-way laws. As a result of this program, 26 citations were issued. These citations included 8 citations for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Other violations included unauthorized cell phone use, failing to use a seat belt, driving uninsured and driving without a license. Numerous citizens were warned and educated without being issued a citation.

The Medford Police Department strongly encourages members of the community to follow basic safety practices:

  • Drivers should be on the lookout for and stop for pedestrians.
  • Drivers should stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk and stay stopped until the pedestrian is two traffic lanes away or has reached the sidewalk.
  • Pedestrians should use the crosswalk when crossing the street and obey pedestrian signals.
  • Pedestrians should look both ways for traffic before crossing and ensure cars are yielding before crossing. Remember that having the right-of-way does not prevent you from being seriously injured by a driver who is not paying attention. Traffic safety is everyone’s personal responsibility.

The Medford Police Department is committed to doing our part to keep the community safe. We urge every member of the community to help by keeping themselves safe and following basic rules of the road.

Around the state of Oregon

Around the state the rapid spread of a stomach virus through the Greater Albany School District has forced the closure of an elementary school. The school district in Linn County has been struggling to contain the spread of the virus which causes vomiting and diarrhea. The district worked to disinfect all its buildings over the weekend but decided to keep Periwinkle Elementary School closed yesterday after consulting with the Linn County Health Department. Students are urged to stay home for 48 hours after symptoms have passed and parents are being asked to enforce strict handwashing policies at home.

Many single Oregonians making about $19,000 a year can qualify for a basic plan costing them, after a federal subsidy, $1 a month.

People qualifying for deep subsidies are among the nearly 104,000 Oregonians who are estimated to qualify for financial help with their coverage but who remain uninsured.

Among that group, about 25,000 people of varying incomes and family sizes are estimated to have access to basic plans for a net premium of between $1 and $150. To get subsidized coverage for 2020, people must sign up by Dec. 15.

The amount of a person’s premium subsidy—the price break they get on the monthly cost of coverage—varies based mostly on income and family size, with a few other qualifications. The $1 plans are available amid other choices, many with higher premiums and richer benefits, and all sold by private insurance companies and certified by the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government.

Solid estimates of subsidies, net premiums and plan options are available at OregonHealthCare.gov/windowshop. In new video ads for open enrollment, Oregonians talk about their experiences with financial help for health insurance.

Karl B., an independent contractor, says in one video, “Having the subsidy, having the benefits, through OregonHealthCare.gov, that really alleviates a lot of the pressure on me.”

Deductibles on the lowest-cost plans are substantial, but some benefits are available before a person has to pay it.

“I always want my clients to know if a plan includes benefits they can access regardless of a high deductible, even when they haven’t met that deductible” said Tina Kennedy, of Healthwise Insurance Planning in Portland. “Every plan through the Marketplace covers certain preventive care right away, at no extra cost to you, and on some large-deductible plans, you get office visits for a copay even when you haven’t dented the deductible.”

In Oregon, plans with the words “standard bronze” in their name all cover primary care office visits for a flat $45 copay, even when the plan’s $7,900 deductible has not been met. This plan type is among the options with a net cost of $1 per month for people making around $19,000 a year and meeting a few other qualifications.

A certified community partner or licensed insurance agent can, at no cost to you, help you apply for a subsidy and translate health-plan plan details into dollars and cents for you. They are listed in a directory at OregonHealthCare.gov/gethelp. Only a licensed insurance agent can recommend the best plan for you.

To hear more from Karl B. and other Oregonians who got subsidies, visit https://youtu.be/LV-cL2jTZ8Ahttps://youtu.be/WZM5-JiTI4M, and https://youtu.be/-CNhrAFpHdE.

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