UPDATE: Freezing Rain Triggers I-84 Wrecks


UPDATE: Feb. 25, 2014 10 a.m.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has begun reopening I-84 in Eastern Oregon and has updated informational signs near the Idaho/oregon border.

ORIGINAL POST: Feb. 25, 2014 8 A.M.

Truck stops in and around Ontario and La Grande, Ore., quickly filled up this morning, in the wake of a bad crash that closed off Interstate 84 from mileposts 377 to 244—approximately 160 miles of highway between Ontario and La Grande.

At one point, just before dawn, the Oregon Department of Transportation reported "I-84 is overloaded with traffic and they cannot have any more vehicles entering Oregon westbound on I-84."

A strong weather system of freezing rain swept through Eastern Oregon in the late evening hours of Feb. 24, creating treacherous road conditions and triggering numerous rollovers and several jackknifed trucks.

As of 8 a.m., ODOT insisted that traffic was not backed up into Ontario and vehicles were still able to reach Ontario westbound off ramps. But they cautioned that Ontario and La Grande truck stops were still full.

When officials reopen the interstate, they indicated that they will probably "open in reverse," meaning they will open I-84 near La Grande, leaving the Baker City and Ontario areas closed to let the snarled traffic clear off of I-84. Then Baker would open, and then finally Ontario.