Rare white Christmas in Pacific Northwest causes car crashes

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Much of the rainy Pacific Northwest got a rare white Christmas, and that turned out to be a gift for auto-body shops.

Dozens of crashes were reported Sunday in and around the big cities of Portland and Seattle, and the slipperiness forced some road closures.

The snow wasn’t particularly deep, only an inch or two, but it created havoc when mixed with freezing rain.

The weather gradually warmed Monday, but the National Weather Service said roads remained slick.

The agency says it’s only the sixth time since 1884 that downtown Portland has had measurable snow on the ground on Dec. 25. It says it’s also very rare in Seattle.

Boise, Idaho, is a Northwest city more accustomed to snow than Portland or Seattle, getting about 9 inches from weekend storms.