Public works: 'We are dodging trees coming down as we speak'

Public works: 'We are dodging trees coming down as we speak'

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EUGENE, Ore. -- Whether they were on the streets or hunkered down at home on Saturday, Lane County residents saw the impact of an ice storm that descended on the Southern Willamette Valley.

The weight of all the snow and ice is bringing down branches, trees and power lines. Officials expect that Western Oregon will wake to even more toppled trees Sunday as the ice storm continues through the night.

Thousands of people are without power and many more are dealing with the debris that can make snow driving even worse.

The Eugene Public Works urban forestry crews responded to more than 125 reports of trees and limbs that were brought down and blocking local roads during Saturday’s storm.

Springfield resident Craig Thompson had a branch fall on his truck early Saturday morning.

“It sounded like crackling, just a big thunder sound,” said Thompson. “The windshield shattered… it's just really bad."

Rick Currier, who works for the City of Springfield operations division, had a similar experience happen Saturday while on the job. One of their trucks was crushed under a falling fir tree.

“The tree came down and went right across our truck,” Currier said. “We are dodging trees coming down as we speak."

Officials said they’ve been responding to dozens of other toppled trees and broken limbs obstructing the already icy roadways. To report a downed tree blocking a road in Eugene call 541-682-4800.

The City of Eugene declared an ice-snow state of emergency Thursday, which means any vehicle parked or abandoned on a priority route can be towed without warning.