Crews clear avalanche slides from a highway more than 50 feet deep
The Idaho highway road that was buried under 50 feet of snow in March has been cleared — but the snowbanks alongside are now a graveyard for all the trees that came tumbling down in the avalanches.
A Feb. 24 storm dropped more than 5 feet of snow on an 11-mile stretch between Lowman and Stanley, the Statesman previously reported. Avalanches followed, burying the highway.
Idaho Transportation Department crews started to dig out the road on March 1. Workers used snowplows and snow blowers to cut out a path. The state re-opened the road on March 15.
The walls of snow that remain are evidence of the avalanches’ destructive power: They brought down rocks and trees, which crews had to hack away at while they cleared the snow layer by layer.
Drivers headed toward the Sawtooths can check road conditions affected by the weather at the Idaho Transportation Department website (511.Idaho.gov.) or by calling 511.