Riders of the Storm

Warming centers open throughout Lane County as the southern Willamette Valley braces for ice storm this Weekend

A Winter Storm Watch and Ice Storm Warning for the southern Willamette Valley has been issued by the National Weather Service. Alongside 20 degree weather, chilled winds and freezing rains, locals can expect a nip in the air well into next Monday.

For unhoused members of the community, Egan Warming Centers have been activated for this Saturday, Jan. 13, and will be on standby for Sunday and Monday. The Springfield Memorial Building at 765 A St., Springfield, Transportation Hub at First Christian Church at 1166 Oak St., Eugene, and Trinity United Methodist Church are among the Egan Warming Centers.

Animals are welcome at the sites listed above. A more complete list of every site activated can be found at St. Vincent De Paul’s website linked here.

To sign up for text alerts about Egan Warming Centers activation status, text the word “Join” to 541-730-3071.

Non-Egan warming centers will be open this weekend as well. The Bob Keefer Center at 250 S. 32nd St., the St. Vincent de Paul Service Station at 456 Hwy 99, and the Looking Glass New Roads Youth Center at 941 W. 7th Ave., are open seven days a week and will be open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

Other centers will be open to anyone who needs a place to warm up. 

A more detailed list, including warming centers in Florence, Oakridge, Cottage Grove and Veneta can be found online at Lane County’s website located here. 

According to Lane County and the city of Eugene, all public facilities (community centers and libraries) except the ones listed above will be closed on Monday to celebrate MLK Jr. day.

The city of Eugene will be suspending its standing order to sweep and remove any unsanctioned camps in public right-of-way until next Tuesday, Jan. 16. So unhoused people currently camped outside where the city says they are not supposed to be (which, according to the city, is pretty much anywhere), get a respite during the cold. 

Eugene Public Works is on standby to de-ice and sand the roads. The city says that anyone who sees trees or other hazards in the road should call 541-682-4800 to report them to Public Works Maintenance. 

The city of Eugene would like to offer driving tips to anyone driving this weekend. “Crashes can occur during winter weather, even when driving the speed limit, as temperatures drop and roads turn slippery,” Caitlin Wallac, senior communications coordinator for the Eugene City Manager’s office, writes in a press release. Here’s some advice the city is giving you:

  • If it is icy out and you don’t have to travel, stay home.  
  • Slow down. 
  • Leave plenty of driving distance, don’t accelerate quickly and don’t brake abruptly.
  • Remove all ice on windshields, windows, headlights and tail lights prior to driving to ensure adequate visibility, and make sure the vehicle’s windshield is defrosted.  

Now if you’re riding your bike through the predicted storm, the city of Eugene has advice for that, too:

  • Wear a helmet.  
  • Be aware of lane conditions and watch out for black ice.  
  • Take turns wider and stay upright around corners.    
  • Underinflate your tires for a slightly wider surface area in contact with the ground and ultimately more control.  

It’s going to be a cold one this weekend. Stay warm!

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