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UPDATED: Thousands still without power after Sunday snow

More than 3,000 Southern Oregon residents remained without electricity Tuesday, two days after a winter storm blew through the region.

Pacific Power reported on their website Tuesday morning that 3,523 residents of Jackson, Josephine and Douglas counties still don't have power. An estimated time of full restoration is not yet available. More than half of that number are in Douglas County, according to company spokesman Tom Gauntt. 

"At this time, customers who lack power need to prepare to be without electricity throughout the night," the website's Tuesday morning update reads. 

On Sunday, stormy, windy weather that dumped snow on the Cascades and Siskiyous and reached as far down as the Rogue Valley floor caused more than 25,000 homes and businesses to go dark across the three counties. A majority of those affected have their power back, but officials have said they are still working on damaged sites in harder to reach areas, some of which required Sno-Cats and other winter weather equipment to reach. 

The American Red Cross's emergency shelter at the Josephine County Fairgrounds closed at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The agency reported 13 Josephine County residents utilized the facility over the past two days. It's not known if Douglas County's emergency shelter, located at the Vine Street Baptist Church in Roseburg, remains open. 

The weekend snowfall is still affecting area travel, too. Multiple highways near Crater and Diamond lakes remain closed due to fallen trees and heavy snow in the roads. The Oregon Department of Transportation reported more than 100 trees fell on Highway 138 near Diamond Lake, and ODOT crews have been working nonstop to clear the road.

"You have these trees that are just leaning from the snow and collapsing on the power lines down over the highway," said ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming.

ODOT crews and contracted timber fallers were still working to clean up the mess Tuesday. Once Highway 138 is clear, crews will move on to Highway 230.

Highway 138 is closed between mileposts 60 and 100. Highway 62 remains closed between mileposts 57 and 65, just northeast of Union Creek.  Highway 230 is closed at its start up to about milepost 24.

"Currently, park headquarters and the Steel Visitor Center are accessible via Highway 62 South, but the road from headquarters to Rim Village is closed," a post on Crater Lake National Park's Facebook page reads. 

There is still no estimated time as to when the highways will reopen. 

Motorists traveling through the Siskiyou Pass are still required to keep chains in their vehicles, but the requirement to have them on the tires was no longer in place Tuesday afternoon. Chains are required for towing vehicles or others weighing more than 10,000 pounds between mileposts 10 and 44 on Highway 66, and on the Mt. Ashland Ski Road.

Drivers should visit www.tripcheck.com or call 511 for up to date road conditions before heading out. 

More precipitation is expected later this week, with the potential for flooding, though the current forecast shows the heaviest rain won't quite reach Jackson County. Heavy rain is expected on the southwest Oregon coast starting Wednesday afternoon, with up to 4 inches of rain as far inland as Grants Pass through Friday. 

"Significant rises on rivers and streams are expected Wednesday night through Friday morning," a notice on the National Weather Service website reads. "There is a potential for small stream flooding Wednesday night through Friday morning." 

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.

Pacific Power crews work to clear fallen trees from Highway 138 near Crater Lake. Photo courtesy of ODOT.
Pacific Power crews work to clear fallen trees from Highway 138 near Crater Lake. Photo courtesy of ODOT.