TROUTDALE, Ore. – As bone-chilling winds whipped out of the Columbia River Gorge (search), hundreds of truckers killed time Friday at a truck stop outside Portland by griping, speculating and hoping.
Ice, wind and snow had closed 47 miles of Interstate 84 — again.
"I've been stuck here since Monday," said Dustin Ball, a Colorado resident who arrived from Tulsa, Okla., with an empty truck. "They told us it would be Wednesday, now they say Saturday. If we're lucky."
About 330 trucks were stranded at the T & A Travel Center, Ball calculated, many spilling onto the freeway exit and on the icy shoulders of I-84 itself.
The east-west freeway opened at least temporarily Friday afternoon to trucks with chains. A few trucks and cars got through, but temperatures were expected to drop as evening approached.
The storm swept into northwestern Oregon on Tuesday. Schools in Portland, Salem and many other areas remained closed Friday for the fourth day.
Portland International Airport (search) was open again Friday after canceling some 1,300 landings and departures since Tuesday, but some airlines kept their flights grounded.
Weather-related troubles still lurked as the area began to thaw. Chunks of ice slid down some Portland high-rises, exploding in shards on the pavement but causing no reported injuries.
More wintry weather is predicted. The National Weather Service (search) says the forecast calls for a mixture of freezing rain, sleet and snow. Icy accumulations of up to a half-inch remain possible, and it is usually worse in the Gorge.