Tribal Government & News

Winter weather closes Tribal campus for two days

02.28.2023 Danielle Harrison Weather, Tribal campus


By Danielle Harrison

Smoke Signals assistant editor/staff writer

A winter storm resulted in the closure of Tribal offices on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23-24, as almost all area school districts were shuttered as well after a late winter storm dumped more than a foot of snow in some of the higher elevations in the region.

In addition to the Tribal campus being closed, the Red Cross Blood Drive, which was scheduled for Friday, was postponed to a later date due to the inability to get blood boxes from Portland.

When the storm first hit Wednesday evening, Feb. 22, the nearly 11 inches that fell in the Portland area resulted in the second snowiest day in the city’s history. 

Tribal Emergency Services Chief Steve Warden said there were a few non-injury wrecks, a few others with non-life threatening injures and a slip injury, but other than that, things stayed relatively calm.

“It seems like folks in these parts have enough respect for these weather events that we are able to stay available for the larger incidents that may arise,” he said.

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Brandy Bishop said a plan was in place to open the Tribal gym as a warming center, but that the need did not arise.

“We (also) had the Elders Activity Center available for a day-use warming center if the need was there,” she said. “Temporary employees were on standby to be called upon to open these facilities if and when needed. These plans remain in place should the need arise.”

Tribal Facilities Manager Tyson Mercier said that his department shoveled Governance Center outdoor entryways and also spread deicer.   

Weather returned to normal for the most part by Monday, Feb. 27, with Tribal government offices opening on time. A second winter storm warning remained in effect until Tuesday morning, however.