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Shelters open doors during April storm

Heavy snow caused several crashes near the Siskiyou Summit on Tuesday and forced road crews to shut down Interstate 5's southbound lanes, officials said.

Ashland received a light dusting of snow, which spurred volunteers to open a temporary shelter at Pioneer Hall, said Lucy Edwards, an Ashland Community Emergency Response Team volunteer.

"The building is nice and warm and there is a place on the floor for people to sleep," Edwards said. "You can get hypothermia sleeping outside on a night like this."

Ruth Coulthard from Ashland's Congregational United Church of Christ noticed that the temperatures were dipping low, and when combined with rain and wind, brought the "real-feel" temperature below 20 degrees.

The church was not available to open Tuesday night, so Pioneer Hall was offered.

"We hadn't any stranded travelers yet," she said.

8:45 p.m. Oregon Department of Transportation crews opened the interstate's southbound lanes.

The Rogue Valley should see less rain today as the cold system pushes out of the area, according to the National Weather Service's Web site.

If there is any snow, it will fall around the 3,000 feet range.

Anyone wanting to join CERT can attend a coming training session. Visit the group's Web site at or call 552-2226.

Clouds likely will cover the Rogue Valley today. The forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of showers and a high temperature of around 50.