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Get Prepared for Winter Weather with Help from the City of Hillsboro
Senior Maintenance & Operations Technician David Senz, one of 99 members of the City of Hillsboro Public Works Department, is proud to say the City is winter-ready.
We sat down with David, who has served the City over the past eight winter seasons, to talk about how Hillsboro is prepared to meet the challenges of severe weather this winter, the tried-and-true practices that support the City’s snow and ice control efforts, and what residents and businesses can do to prepare in advance for the season.
Is the City prepared to respond to snow events and freezing temperatures at any moment?
It has been a busy time for us here at the Public Works Department and we are ready for the winter season! We’ve proactively inspected and readied winter weather equipment, ordered and restocked necessary supplies including sanding rock and more than 13,000 gallons of anti-icing solution, and are carefully monitoring weather forecasts. And, we are ready to deploy our winter operations plan and mobilize staff, equipment, and other resources to work around the clock, if needed, to minimize risks that road conditions pose to travelers, infrastructure, and property.
How is the City planning to improve conditions on snowy or icy roads?
This winter season, our City will again deploy a tried-and-true practice to combat snowy or icy roads. In my time at the City, this three-pronged approach has proven to be extremely effective in addressing snow and ice on Hillsboro roadways.
- First, we apply anti-icing solution to priority streets before inclement weather. This helps prevent ice from forming and sticking to the road surface.
- Sand/gravel is then applied at intersections, curves, on hills, and other problem areas to improve traction during and after snow fall.
- We also use snow plows to remove accumulating snow on priority roadways.
Which roads will be the focus of the City’s response during a winter weather storm event or emergency?
City streets providing access to critical facilities, emergency services, and major highways, as well as hills, dips, curves, and bridges will be our priority to treat and clear during a winter weather storm event or emergency. Neighborhood streets are not serviced except in extreme circumstances and only after clearing priority routes. We’ve posted a map of the anti-icing and sanding/snow plowing routes online.
Who is responsible for which roads in Hillsboro?
- ODOT: Responsible for Tualatin Valley Highway (Hwy. 8), Baseline Street, Oak Street, and Sunset Highway (U.S. 26).
- Washington County: Responsible for Evergreen Road/Pkwy, Cornell Road, Baseline Street, 185th Avenue, Cornelius Pass Road, Brookwood Parkway, 1st Avenue, 10th Avenue, Glencoe Road, River Road, and Helvetia Road.
- The City of Hillsboro: Responsible for all other primary arterial and collector streets, including Main Street (from SW Baseline to Brookwood Parkway), Jackson School Road, Minter Bridge Road, and other priority thoroughfares in the city.
Is the City well equipped for winter weather response?
Absolutely. Our city is well prepared to respond with a diverse winter weather equipment portfolio of backhoes, vehicle chains, chainsaws, and wood chippers along with three dump trucks, four sanders, four plows, and two 6,600-gallon units of anti-icing solution. Hillsboro also has an intergovernmental agreement with Washington County as well as a partnership with the Cooperative Public Agencies of Washington County Consortium, both which provide mutual support, response, and equipment sharing during extreme weather events.
What can residents and businesses do to be winter-ready?
This is a great question. Before snowstorms and extreme cold hit, we suggest building an emergency kit for self-sufficiency, learning how to shut off your water valve in case of a pipe break, and winterizing your vehicle with traction devices, snow shovels, and an emergency kit.
During a winter weather event, we highly encourage travelers to stay safe at home, especially when driving conditions are treacherous. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. If you must leave home, consider using use mass transit. Before travel, make sure to:
- Fill your gas tank.
- Have snow tires mounted or chains fitted.
- Ready emergency kits.
- Check weather forecasts and road conditions by calling 5-1-1 or visiting www.TripCheck.com.
- Let someone know your travel plans.
- Give yourself plenty of extra time.
Also, residents, businesses, and property owners are asked to keep all of the sidewalks adjacent to their property clear from snow or ice as many Hillsboro community members rely on walking and transit as their primary way to get around.
What contact numbers do I need to have on hand?
- To report an urgent problem with City of Hillsboro streets, flooding, or downed trees, call the Public Works Department at 503-615-6509 (during business hours) and 503-629-0111 (after hours).
- Report water emergencies to the Water Department at 503-615-6702 (regular business hours) and 503-615-6775 (after hours pager).
- To report a downed power line, call Portland General Electric at 503-464-7777 or 800-544-1795.
- In case of a life-threatening emergency, please call 9-1-1.
Another great way to get winter weather tips and updates is from posts on the city’s website and social media channels:
- Website: Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/Services/Winter-Weather-Resources
- Facebook: Facebook.com/CityofHillsboro
- Twitter: @CityOfHillsboro