What to Expect During Winter Weather
During the winter months Public Works road crews respond to many weather related issues. This page gives you information about how we respond in different situations so you know what to expect.
To report road hazards, please call Marion County Public Works Dispatch at 503-588-5304.
Road Closure Procedures
Our first priority is to close the road as quickly as possible when there is an obstruction or hazard.
If manpower and signage is available, we will add advanced warning signs.
For long term road closures, the details will be posted on our website under
Road & Disposal Site Closures.
For long term road closures we often set up a detour.
Some road closures require a flagger at each end and others require signs only.
When the hazard or obstruction has been removed, we check the road to make sure it's safe for travel then open the road and pick up all road closure and detour signs.
When all closure signs have been picked up, we update our website under
Road & Disposal Site Closures and remove the road from the list of closures.
Snow and Ice Response
Marion County Public Works monitors weather conditions and prepares for snow and ice response when the forecast calls for this type of weather.
One form of ice control operations is de-icing critical locations such as intersections, overpasses, bridges, and hilly areas.
When there are a large amount of icy road conditions, we de-ice our Tier 1 (main arterial) roads and then move to our Tier 2 (secondary) roads. You can find maps of these roads above in the Maps section.
De-icing requires the air temperature to be 42 degrees and falling and the road surface temperature to be 40 degrees and falling.
Sanding operations will begin with Tier 1 (main arterial) roads and then move to our Tier 2 (secondary) roads.
In a wide spread storm that involves snow and ice, sanding is generally more effective than de-icing.
Snow plowing will normally begin when four inches of snow is on the roadway if it is still snowing and sanding operations are no longer effective.
Generally hilly areas receive snow first so they are cleared first.
If the entire county is blanketed with snow, plowing will start on our Tier 1 (main arterial) roads and then move to our Tier 2 (secondary) roads. You can find maps of these roads above in the Maps section.
We do not plow private driveways.
Snow plowing activities may push a berm of snow across private driveways. This cannot be avoided. Property owners may need to shovel the berm of snow out of their driveway entrance to get out to the freshly plowed road.
Marion County Public Works responds to flooding on roads and road shoulders as well as drainage issues that may cause flooding on private property.
There are 13 areas that Marion County has installed
High Water Gates allowing us to close those roads quickly during flooding. Each time a road is closed using the high water gates, permanent road closed ahead signs are displayed and the closure information is posted on our website under
Road and Disposal Site Closures.
In areas where there is water on the road and it is still safe to travel, we put out High Water Signs to warn drivers to slow down and be careful of water on the road.
In areas that we do not have permanent high water gates, and the flooding is causing a road hazard, we close the road using road closure and high water signs. With this type of closure there is not always time to put out advanced warning signs.
When the water recedes the road surfaces are checked for damage and debris before roads are opened.
Marion County Public Works crews patrol bridges and culverts to check for and remove drift.
Additional Adverse Weather Information
The Buena Vista Ferry and Wheatland Ferry may have closures due to weather, maintenance, water levels, etc. Information about the ferries can be found under Ferries on our website.
Alerts and Emergency information is available when the link at the top of the page is flashing.
Marion County Emergency Management has additional information for all kinds of storm events and other urgent situations on the
Emergency Management website. In the gray box at the bottom of the Emergency Management Page you will find tabs for River Levels and Weather Information.
If you'd like to report a pothole, please use this link
Report a Road Concern.
For non-urgent inquiries and business, please call Marion County Public Works at 503-588-5036.