Rattlesnake Avalanche - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

UPDATE: Rattlesnake Avalanche

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA -

Missoula Police officers, Missoula County Sheriff's deputies and fire personnel are going door to door in the Lower Rattlesnake neighborhood between Richard and Holly Streets providing avalanche danger notifications.

These emergency personnel are providing residents with information regarding the extremely unstable snow conditions due to recent weather and informing them of the risk of further avalanche danger.

Although there is not a mandatory evacuation order in place, residents are encouraged to consider the risk when deciding whether or not to leave the area.

Missoula police say it was a coordinated, city-county effort to pull the three people from the avalanche that destroyed a two-story home on Holly Street in the Rattlesnake area.

Two adults and an 8-year-old boy were buried by the avalanche that occurred Friday afternoon. Power lines were also knocked down and a gas leak occurred.  

Currently, an avalanche team is assessing the risk of a second slide, and residents should be aware they may be forced to evacuate.

Police say they worked with the sheriff's office, county search and rescue teams and avalanche experts at the scene.

Det. Sgt. Travis Welsh of the Missoula Police Department commended the effort. "Usually in times of crisis, people come together and perform heroically and get the job done."

Dozens of shovels hit the snow as people from around the Missoula community came together to aid law enforcement in recovering the victims of the avalanche and stop a gas leak.

One area resident thought he heard a snow plow outside when his entire laundry room was taken out by the avalanche but the first thing on his mind was to make sure no one was hurt.

"Scary as heck because when I hear there might have been someone in there and I smelled the gas, I just wanted to help the other people."

The extreme weather may have closed down the town for the day but community members say there was no question they wanted to jump in and give a helping hand.

"He just said there's an eight-year-old buried under snow so I grabbed a shovel."

Dozens of Missoula residents crowded the area trying to find out how they could help up until the last victim was transported to the hospital.

Police say the avalanche team is also using trained dogs to make sure nobody else is still trapped under the snow.

Anyone who is currently displaced from the area should go to the First Baptist Church at 308 West Pine Street.  Pruyn Veterinary Hospital (829-8150) at 2501 S Russell in Missoula is taking the pets of avalanche victims. They can take in 10-15 cats and 10-15 dogs (more if needed) while their humans stay at the Red Cross shelter in Missoula.

 

 

 

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