Snowpocalypse: Willamette Valley experiences harsh January weather

Photo by Elliot Pond

The second weekend of 2017 gave way to unusual weather in the Willamette Valley and the foothills of the Cascades.

Snow and freezing rain accumulated as the weather became more severe. Linn-Benton’s main campus in Albany received 1-1/2 inches to 2 inches of soft, powdery snow. The Corvallis and Lebanon LBCC locations received a similar forecast of snow and ice.

“It’s made it difficult to find rides to work,” said Natasha Hertz, a Lebanon resident. “The weather has forced me to be around 10 to 30 minutes late every day,”

Although the National Weather Service said the snow would be partially melted by the morning of Sunday Jan. 8, snow was still present, lightly melting once sunrise hit and interfering with schedules everywhere.

Residents were surprised by the unexpected weather, from it’s early arrival to it’s late departure.

I was a bit surprised as all the weather channels said it was only supposed to have freezing rain,” said Dylan Johnson, an Albany resident. “ I enjoy this weather, and having an AWD car helps.”

LBCC cancelled classes and events for Jan. 7 due to the inclement weather. An e-mail was also sent out asking that staff and students “stay safe out there.”

Classes were cancelled for University of Oregon, as well as Oregon State University. LBCC was opened for the first day of classes on Jan. 9, and asked students to use good judgment as they drove on the roads.

Some people weren’t happy about Linn-Benton’s decision to not cancel classes, however.

“Roads were closed around my house, OSU was closed, and Albany schools were closed but not LBCC,” said Kendall LaVaque, a student at LBCC, “I went to my class, drove all the way from Keizer, just to see a note on the door that my class was cancelled.”

Story by Hannah Buffington