C.O. closures, cancellations piling up with snow

Schools closed; offices, facilities shutting early

BEND, Ore. - Heavy snow fell across the High Desert Wednesday, as predicted, and that meant all Central Oregon school districts canceled classes and after-school activities, along with numerous other delays and cancellations across the region.

The calls were made before 5:30 a.m. for the major school districts, including Bend-La Pine, Redmond, Sisters, Crook County, Jefferson County and Culver.

"The safety of our students is our No. 1 concern," Sisters schools said in their message, echoing the views of others.

Other closures included the High Desert Montessori School in Redmond, the Powell Butte Community Charter School, St. Francis School, Seven Peaks School, Deschutes and Crook County Head Start classes, Eastmont Community School, the Madras Children's Center, St. Thomas Academy, Central Christian School in Redmond, Cascade Academy, Three Sisters Adventist, High Desert Montessori, Trinity Lutheran School, Waldorf School of Bend, Baker Web Student Academy, Cascade School of Music, Foresight Learning Center in Redmond and REACH in Redmond.

Gilchrist School reported they were on a two-hour delay of classes for students and staff.

COCC and OSU-Cascades had no call to make on classes, as the schools are in their winter break. The campuses were still open for staff and some students, but both schools were closing their campus and facilities at noon Wednesday -- and delaying the campuses' opening Thursday to 10 a.m.

The Bend Park and Recreation District said they also canceled their Kids Inc. after-school program, and Redmond Park and Rec's Adventure Quest program.

The Council on Aging of Central Oregon announced its Bend offices will be closed Wednesday, as will Housing Works in Redmond.

Deschutes County Circuit Court was closing at noon Wednesday but currently planned to operate on a normal schedule Thursday. Wednesday’s “Shop With a Cop” will be rescheduled, officials said.

All state agency offices in Central Oregon were closing early Wednesday, at 2 p.m.

Bend Park and Rec also was closing facilities early; the Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, Bend Senior Center and The Pavilion at 4 p.m. and district offices at 2 p.m.

Other closures include the Madras Aquatic Center afternoon and evening activities, the Sisters Superintendent's Coffee evening meeting.

In the Deschutes Public Library system, the La Pine and Sunriver libraries were closed Wednesday, while others were on their regular schedules. A scheduled library board meeting was canceled. as well as an evening "Know Jingles" event at the downtown Bend Library.

The Crook County Library was set to close at 3 p.m. Wednesday and a Library Board of Trustees meeting will be rescheduled.

In Redmond, the Cascade Swim Center and RAPRD Activity Center were closing at 2 p.m. and all afternoon and evening programming was canceled. The swim and activity centers tentatively were planning to reopen at 9 a.m. Thursday

The High Desert Museum south of Bend closed at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

BEAT Children's Theatre canceled Wednesday night's performance of "Elf the Musical."

The High Desert Treasure Club's Christmas party for Wednesday night was rescheduled to Thursday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m.

The Bend Chamber's Young Professionals Network Holiday Party planned for Wednesday evening was canceled and will be rescheduled.

The Bend Rotary Holiday Party and Auction scheduled Wednesday night at the EAgle Crest Conference Center has been postponed until Wednesday, Dec. 21.

In an early call, Saturday's two KQAK Christmas concerts featuring the Trail Band have been canceled; organizers said refunds are available through the Tower Theatre ticket office.

The Sisters Classic Old-time Radio Experience performance of “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Sisters Community Church Wednesday evening also was canceled.

There also were government meeting cancellations Wednesday: a Bend Affordable Housing Advisory Committee meeting, reset for Jan. 11, and a Sisters Planning Commission meeting, with their next one set for Jan. 19. The Sisters Urban Forestry Board meeting also was postponed a week.

We will keep you up to date, on the air and online, with the latest school and other cancellations, closures and delays. Feel free to let us know of any others at

The National Weather Service in Pendleton issued a winter storm warning Tuesday afternoon, effective from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday. Forecasters predicted heavy snow adding up to 10 to 15 inches around the region before the day ends and the snow tapers off.

ODOT and other road crews also geared up for potentially the biggest one-day snow totals since last year's pre-Thanksgiving surprise blast. Track the latest highway conditions across the state at our TripCheck page -- and of course, the interactive radar and forecasts at our Local Alert Weather page.

Redmond Airport Director Zachary Bass said Tuesday afternoon the airport won't likely be closed -- "we won't close the runways until we have to" -- but that he was told that Alaska and Horizon airlines, for example, had canceled all Wednesday flights. United also was canceling some inbound flights Tuesday and its Wednesday morning departures from RDM.

"I would expect some delays and others get canceled," Bass said, urging travelers to keep checking with airlines and also the flight status page at the RDM Website, where Wednesday morning cancellations have begun to appear.

The terminal will stay open, he said, and operations crews will work to keep runways clear. "There might be a period in which we have to close the runway if over-burdened," he said.

One airline preemptively canceled all flights, in anticipation of Wednesday's dump.

"We're going to cancel all flying for Horizon and Alaska Airlines all day tomorrow," Horizon Air representative Jim Cook said. "There will be no flights into or out of Redmond for Alaska Airlines."

Bass noted that many flights to Redmond leave planes and crews there overnight, ready for early-morning flights out.

"I have a feeling that tonight, those planes are going to drop their passengers off and stay somewhere else overnight," he said. "I'm pretty sure all those early-morning flights will be canceled."

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