Clark County Shelters Prepare for Likely Winter Conditions This Weekend


Southwest Washington might not wake up to a White Christmas, but a White After-Christmas could be possible.

The Portland National Weather Service says there is a 60-80% chance of snow covering the Willamette Valley and the Washington and Oregon Lowlands over Christmas weekend. Higher elevations could see accumulations of 4 inches or more over the 48 hour period.

Another atmospheric trough will form along the west coast this week and move through our region on Wednesday evening, bringing more rain and possible flooding along rivers and low lying areas. Expect periods of rain throughout the work week with high temperatures in the 40s and above and low temperatures in the 30s.

Parts of Clark, Multnomah and Clackamas counties got a glimpse of wintry weather as snow fell at higher elevations on Saturday evening and Sunday. Camp Bonneville had 4 inches of snow Sunday morning and Camas recorded 2.8 inches.

The Cascades suffered some of the heaviest snowfall in the state, with some areas reporting accumulations of more than a foot. Lucerne, along Lake Chelan, reported 18 inches of snow. Parts of Mount Hood received 1 to 2 feet of snow, particularly above elevations of 3,500 feet.

With more rain and possibly snow in the forecast, travelers during this busiest season of the year could experience delays. Severe storms in the southwest and southeastern United States will likely delay flights across the country.

For those returning home from the holiday weekend, temperatures in Clark County are expected to drop to between 20 and 20 degrees overnight Monday through Thursday. Sleet and freezing rain are expected Monday morning, making driving conditions dangerous.

Shelters against bad weather

Clark County agencies are preparing for the freezing temperatures to come and making sure the weather shelters will be open and ready. The Homeless Council received funds from the county to provide additional supplies and cover unforeseen costs for shelter providers during severe weather.

Anyone looking for shelter from the elements should call the housing hotline at 360-695-9677. Local teams are available to put people in contact with a shelter.

A severe weather event will be called when three different weather sources, including the National Weather Service, forecast temperatures of 32 degrees or less, or when snow or ice accumulations are expected.

In the event of extreme weather conditions, the Council for the Homeless will contact shelter providers to open or expand the capacity of temporary shelters and notify 211 and the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency.

Providers of bad weather shelters include Winter Hospital Overflow shelters at St. Andrew and St. Paul Lutheran Churches, Share House, Living Hope Church, and St. Matthew Second Presbyterian Church.

Outsiders Inn can also provide day shelter during the most severe weather events, up to eight hours per day, for up to 10 days.

Although it is generally the responsibility of homeless people to go to a weather shelter, providers and outreach teams may have bus passes to distribute.

Enlarged shelter

In addition to weather shelters, extended night shelters of 10 to 25 beds are provided from mid-November to mid-March. Clark County is funding shelter expansion through a community planning contract with the Council for the Homeless. Access to the extended shelters is via the housing hotline at 360-695-9677.

The expanded shelters are located at the River City Church on Saturdays, at the Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and at the Immanuel Lutheran Church on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


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