Forecast: Better moving weather ahead
The Omega Morgan megaload made it out of Dale – but just barely – last night.
The huge transport is parked again about five miles down Highway 395 from the Dale Store, according to proprietor Butch Phelps.
He said the rig left about 8 pm, with company and transportation officials hoping the snowy weather would skirt that area. Instead, the snow began to fall.
“It started snowing – a flake here and a flake there – while they were having their safety meeting,” he said.
The stretch traveled last night features a steep incline and curves, meaning the transport could only move at a crawl.
The Oregon Department of Transportation had said the load might remain parked beside the highway at Dale, midway between Pendleton and Mount Vernon, until the weather allows it to travel again.
The load is allowed to move only at night, from 8 pm to 6 am.
If it moves Friday night, it will be headed for Long Creek and then Mount Vernon.
The plan earlier called for it to travel from Mount Vernon through John Day on Saturday night, but that’s up to the weather and the progress made tonight.
Saturday night is the annual Timber Truckers Light Parade, which will shut down Highway 26 in John Day starting about 6 pm.
Parade organizer Leslie Traylor said she called the company earlier this week, to invite the megaload to join the parade.
“I said they could just follow us through town,” she said.
Traylor said the company contact was excited about the idea, but said they’d need to get permission from ODOT – and that’s not likely, given the timing of the parade and safety concerns.
The National Weather Service is predicting more moderate weather over the next few days.
(By the Blue Mountain Eagle)
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