Rare snowstorm hammers W. Oregon, SW Washington

By By TIM FOUGHT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Forecasters say a rare and powerful snowstorm has hammered parts of the Pacific Northwest, dropping as much as 10 inches of snow in western Oregon and southwest Washington.

Part two of the storm is expected to hit Oregon on Friday afternoon, bringing another 6 to 12 inches of snow.

Thursday's storm has left one person dead in a massive Interstate 5 pileup in southwest Washington, caused multiple other wrecks and closed schools and offices.

The Oregon Transportation Department says the snowstorm also caused a string of multiple car crashes on I-5 near Albany, closing the highway there for five hours.

A National Weather Service spokesman says the last back-to-back snow event like this in the region hit in December 2008.

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