US-12 Now Open After Crews Cleared an Avalanche and Downed Trees
KOOSKIA — US-12 east of Kooskia is now open after crews took care of the aftermath of a storm that brought down trees, triggered an avalanche, and deposited more than 2 feet of snow between Thursday and Friday night.
“At times that storm was dumping three inches of snow an hour,” ITD Operations Engineer Jared Hopkins said. “Our operators have tirelessly worked to remove 150 fallen trees and to clear one avalanche.”
The avalanche reported yesterday near milepost 136 was more than 10 feet deep and 30 to 40 feet wide.
“We also had to bring in heavy equipment to remove several smaller snow slides that had reached the highway and were too big to push with our plows,” Hopkins said.
ITD shut down the highway last Thursday based on avalanche risk, heavy snow, and falling trees. Prior to this storm, the last avalanche to reach the highway was in 2008.
“Our avalanche specialists will monitor the corridor through the winter, but it is now safe to reopen with that storm behind us,” Hopkins said. “Drivers should be prepared for narrow lanes and patches of ice and snow as we continue to clean up.”
Operators have also just reopened State Highway 64 east of Nezperce, which had been closed since Jan. 3 due to drifted snow.
Drivers should check 511 for updated information before traveling as conditions could change.