Lt. McCraw’s update: slick roads, free hike and de-icing

A cold, frosty one this morning with the temperature at the airport bottoming out at 27, which is what it is still as I type this.  The roads were also frosty but with a slow drive in were relatively safe.  I am looking out the window at clear, sunny skies and a bright moon. 

By Lt. Gordon McCraw
Emergency Management Director
Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office

Lt. Gordon McCraw

ODOT issued a statement that says:
After a night of very cold temperatures, travelers this morning should be ready for icy and slick roads. Black ice conditions and freezing fog are in many locations in the Willamette Valley and on Coast Range highways. While ODOT crews were able to plow, sand and de-ice most state highways yesterday and last night, water on the road has refreezed making for difficult driving conditions. Travelers should be aware of these conditions and adjust their driving behavior to the driving conditions. Cascade passes remain snow packed after several feet of snow the past 48 hours and chains are required. Travelers should allow for extra travel time, reduce speeds and be prepared for winter driving conditions.

As for the forecast, we have high pressure building in over the area today helping to give us the clear skies today and a high near 37.  We are looking for increasing clouds tonight as an upper level disturbance approaches us from the northwest that will give us a slight chance (30%) chance of precipitation late tonight through tomorrow.  Obviously depending on the temperatures, this could be another low level snow event with periods of light snow into the evening.

A front passing to the north Sunday may cause a period or two of rain or rainshowers for us otherwise the next front to bring rain to our area will push in the moisture Monday into Tuesday.  If there is good news with this it is that temperatures will have started returning to seasonal normal Monday with highs in the mid-40s, lows around 40.

We enjoy a break Wednesday then another front brings in more rain Wednesday night into Thursday, highs in the mid-40s, lows in the upper 30s


For the sixth year in a row, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is partnering with America’s State Parks to offer free guided First Day Hikes in state parks across Oregon on New Year’s Day. Information about the special hike to take place at Cape Lookout State Park is below. The usual $5 day-use parking fee will be waived on Jan. 1 only.

These same details, along with directions to the park, are available on the Oregon State Parks website–go to online and search for “First Day Hikes” under Event Category.

Hike time: Noon
Starting location: Cape Lookout trailhead parking lot
Terrain and length of trail: Moderate, five-mile hike
Contact information: 503-457-5026
Additional details: One of the most scenic hikes on the Oregon Coast, see views of the shoreline north and south. This is one of the best times for whale watching from the end of the cape. Dogs must be on a six-foot leash.

Participants should dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water as well as a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing. In case of inclement weather, the park should be contacted directly to find out about cancellation.

This year, OPRD is asking participants to share photos of their First Day Hike via social media by using the hashtag #ORfirstdayhikes Twitter and Instagram or tagging “Oregon State Parks” on Facebook. Images can also be e-mailed to

Road De-Icer Information
So, I had a meeting with some ODOT officials the other day and the topic of spraying the roads with the de-icing liquid came up. I learned a few things that I will share.

  • They can’t use it when it is raining, rain dilutes it and washes it off the road all together. It does not work with snow either.
  • It works by breaking the bond between the ice and the road. With traffic the ice breaks up and melts faster.
  • It works really well when the ice is preceded by a dry day that allows the de-icer to bond before the ice tries to form.
  • Just because you see the lines indicating the road was sprayed, doesn’t mean it is safe and that there is no ice. You should still drive slower and use extreme caution, especially on bridges where ice forms sooner.
  • Bottom line, the de-icer does not make the road ice-free, it may help but cautious driving is the best method!




Lt. Gordon McCraw


5995 Long Prairie Rd.

Tillamook, OR 97141