Neighbors Pick up the Pieces After Urban Avalanche - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Neighbors Pick up the Pieces After Urban Avalanche

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA -

One day after an urban avalanche destroyed a Missoula home and buried three people, residents are again coming to the rescue of those involved. Retired UM professor Fred Allendorf is now listed in serious condition while his wife, Michel Jo Colville, is still listed in critical condition. An 8-year-old boy was also pulled alive from the rubble. His condition is not yet known.

Friday, residents lined the streets with shovels and avalanche probes hoping to help pull the three from the rubble. On Saturday, many neighbors returned to the scene of the slide, but this time they were pulling much smaller items from the debris.

"It's emotional," said Jeanne Twohig. "It is. We're finding her jewelry. Someone found some of Fred's journals. It's important things we're trying to salvage what we can."

Twohig is braving single-digit temperatures with sub-zero wind chills to help a neighbor.

"just trying to piece back together what we can for them," she said.

One day after the slide, the emergency crews are gone but the destruction is clear.

"Oh man, tons of rubble," said Sandy Boehmler, who lives a block away from the slide. "A house has been crunched on top of cars."

Fred Allendorf and Michel Jo Colville's home is barely identifiable amid the ruble left behind after an avalanche swept through Friday. Fred is a retired professor who continues his research on conservation and population genetics at the University of Montana. Neighbors say Michel is quite crafty.

"We found some of the handmade things she made," Twohig said. "It's like a needle in a haystack though."

Twohig's husband was killed in an avalanche near Lolo years ago. She says she wasn't able to assist in his search and recovery and is now happy to be able to help a neighbor affected by a similar disaster.

"Last night it was overwhelming and this morning we're just so thankful they're all alive," Boehmler said. "We didn't think they were going to make it. We're just grateful. There were angels here last night no doubt."

And angels there Saturday, preserving the memories of their friends and neighbors.

Crews are still trying to determine what caused the avalanche. Officials with NorthWestern Energy say there are still three standing homes they cannot restore service to. They say the homes sustained too much damage in the slide.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Ohio State marching band director fired

    Ohio State marching band director fired

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:21 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:21:42 GMT
    Ohio State University has fired the director of its celebrated marching band amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues" including sexual harassment.
    Ohio State University has fired the director of its celebrated marching band amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues" including sexual harassment.
  • Mont. gov: Sen. in plagiarism row deserves respect

    Mont. gov: Sen. in plagiarism row deserves respect

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:17 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:17:31 GMT
    Sen. John Walsh said his unattributed use of others' work in his master's thesis was not plagiarism but "a few citations that were unintentionally left out of a term paper" that he blamed in part on...
    Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Thursday he had no knowledge that Sen. John Walsh had plagiarized his master's thesis when he appointed the former lieutenant governor to the Senate in February, and that he continues to...
  • Storm slams Virginia campground; 2 dead

    Storm slams Virginia campground; 2 dead

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:12 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:12:09 GMT
    Virginia State Police say two were killed and at least 20 injured when a fierce storm slammed a campground on the state's Eastern Shore.
    The sky turned black and cellphones pinged with emergency messages. Moments later, a fierce storm tore through a sprawling, carnival-like campground Thursday, snapping dozens of trees and flipping over RVs.
  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:51 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:51:39 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.
  • Carlton Complex Fire now 52% contained

    Carlton Complex Fire now 52% contained

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:10 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:10:43 GMT
    UPDATE: Officials say the massive wildfire that has destroyed about 150 homes in north-central Washington is now more than half contained.The rain and hail that fell on Wednesday, wasn't enough to extinguish the nearly 400-square-mile Carlton Complex of fires, but it gave crews a chance to dig lines along the south and east parts. The fire is 52% contained.
    UPDATE: Officials say the massive wildfire that has destroyed about 150 homes in north-central Washington is now more than half contained.The rain and hail that fell on Wednesday, wasn't enough to extinguish the nearly 400-square-mile Carlton Complex of fires, but it gave crews a chance to dig lines along the south and east parts. The fire is 52% contained.
  • Body Pulled From The Clark Fork River

    Body Pulled From The Clark Fork River

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:06 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:06:24 GMT
    The Missoula County Sheriff’s Department and Missoula City Police confirmed a body was pulled out of the Clark Fork river around 7:00 p.m. Wednesday.
    The Missoula County Sheriff’s Department and Missoula City Police confirmed a body was pulled out of the Clark Fork river around 7:00 p.m. Wednesday.
  • PHOTOS: Severe thunderstorms roll through the Inland Northwest

    PHOTOS: Severe thunderstorms roll through the Inland Northwest

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:44:35 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A storm seemed to leave just as fast as it arrived Wednesday in Spokane. High winds blew over trees and utility lines, causing widespread power outages and some severe property damage. INSIDE>>>| Power Outages | PHOTOS |
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A storm seemed to leave just as fast as it arrived Wednesday in Spokane. High winds blew over trees and utility lines, causing widespread power outages and some severe property damage. INSIDE>>>| Power Outages | PHOTOS |
  • Helicopter Crash in Wenatchee

    Helicopter Crash in Wenatchee

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:16 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:16:03 GMT
    CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. - A helicopter crashed in Wenatchee on Wednesday.Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration in Renton says the crash occurred on Wednesday in Wenatchee for unknown reasons.
    CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. - A helicopter crashed in Wenatchee on Wednesday.Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration in Renton says the crash occurred on Wednesday in Wenatchee for unknown reasons. He says the helicopter was a Bell 206A Jet Ranger.

  • UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:04:28 GMT
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
  • St. Mary Visitor Center Closed

    St. Mary Visitor Center Closed

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:28 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:28:02 GMT
    The St. Mary Visitor Center in Glacier National Park is closed.
    The St. Mary Visitor Center in Glacier National Park is closed.
  • Stevensville Man Denies Sex Crimes

    Stevensville Man Denies Sex Crimes

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:23 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:23:48 GMT
    A Stevensville man denies claims he sexually abused and impregnated a pre-teen girl.
    A Stevensville man denies claims he sexually abused and impregnated a pre-teen girl.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.