BEND, Ore. - With an intense, cold and blustery winter storm dumping plenty of new snow on the High Desert and a lot more on the way, some Central Oregon schools were closed Tuesday on what was to be the first day back after the holiday break. The storm hitting the region also prompted numerous flight cancellations at Redmond Airport.
Jefferson County 509-J schools were closed Tuesday, while Culver schools were open but with buses on snow routes.
Also closed: TLC (The Children's Learning Center) and Oregon Child Development Coalition early learning Heart Start in Culver and Madras.
And there were early cancellations for Wednesday: Klamath County schools will be closed, and the Brown Bag Food program scheduled for Wednesday at Crooked River Ranch is canceled due to the weather.
The Council on Aging of Central Oregon said it will have a two-hour delayed start Wednesday, with the possibility of closure, depending on travel conditions.
Also, the Mid-Columbia Children's Council reported its Madras site will be closed Wednesday, with no activity bus runs. The Madras site will be closed for all Head Start due to weather conditions.
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By evening, a weather spotter near Paulina reported 13 inches of new snow, while a Terrebonne resident recorded nine inches.
Airlines canceled numerous flights Tuesday into or out of Redmond Airport, which said it was "diligently working to keep the airfield open in snow and ice conditions."
In the airport's announcement, they added, "Safety is always the most important factor if the RDM decides to temporarily close the airfield."
Air carriers that serve RDM make their own decisions on whether to cancel flights due to weather conditions. Some air carriers serving RDM have made decisions to cancel flights Tuesday and Wednesday, based on weather conditions and forecasts in RDM and/or the destination airport.
Passengers are encouraged to verify flight information with their air carrier and check flight status at http://www.flyrdm.com/?Flight-Status.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for 4 p.m. Tuesday through 4 p.m. Wednesday, predicting another 6-12 inches of snow across the region.
NewsChannel 21 Chief Meteorologist Bob Shaw said "the worst is yet to come" as the snow would pick up by dinnertime. The NWS warned it would then continue through Wednesday afternoon, before tapering off. Northerly winds could bring gusts to 25 mph, along with bitterly cold temperatures of zero to 15 degrees
"If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency," the NWS warned; a safety blanket or sleeping bag is also a good idea, as is a first-aid kit.
Follow travel conditions at our ODOT TripCheck page.