Portland doesn’t usually get big snow storms. We’re one of those cities that shuts down if an inch falls. So when a storm comes that that dumps 13″ of heavy, wet snow, the city becomes paralyzed.
I took The PDXJ, aka project 2001 Jeep Cherokee, around our neighborhood this morning, and the snow was indeed deep. Some streets were blocked by downed trees that became so heavy with the wet snow they simply toppled over.
Snow is rare here. We don’t have a huge fleet of plows, don’t use salt (hardly ever, anyway), and most drivers are inexperienced at best when the roads get slick. In fact, Mercedes and I generally stay off the roads when it snows. This isn’t because we don’t know how to drive in the snow, it’s because most other people don’t. In fact, it is so bad that many times people will simply abandoned their vehicles in the middle of the road when it snows here (even only a couple of inches). It’s pretty incredible, especially since Mercedes and I come from the upper midwest where most people don’t even use snow tires, yet get around with relative ease.
This video below, originally posted to Reddit via the Portland Mercury, shows what a ghost town Portland becomes after a major snowstorm. Plus, you get to see a first-hand look at some of those abandoned cars on the Freemont Bridge.