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Snow Storms Jam Up Life And Work East Of The Cascades

Anna King
Northwest News Network
Franny White of the Tri-Cities says she has shoveled out her home about four times so far this winter. She's tired of it.

A major storm east of the Cascades has dumped snow and closed businesses and schools Monday. The weather has also been a factor in several accidents and deaths. Bend, Oregon, has nearly three feet of snow in some places.

Washington’s Tri-Cities have received an unusual amount of snow. Normally, they get about seven inches of rain over the course of a year.  And while it’s not unusual to get a few inches of snow -- like a powdered-sugar dusting that melts really quickly -- it’s really weird to have this much snow on the ground.

The National Weather Station in Pendleton, Oregon, said the Tri-Cities had more than 11 inches of snow since New Years and 20 inches total this winter.

That means that many businesses that rarely close are on a snow day Monday. Hanford is closed, most schools are closed, WSU-Tri-Cities is closed and the Pacific Northwest National Lab is closed.

This has been the second major snowstorm this year in eastern Washington and Oregon. A mix of rain, ice and snow is predicted east of the Cascades until the end of the week.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.