Weather

Avalanche Mitigation Underway Along Highway 2

Travelers along U.S. Highway 2 between Essex and Snow Slip should expect delays of up to two hours

By Micah Drew
The Middle Fork Flathead River. Beacon File Photo

Avalanche mitigation efforts by the Montana Department of Transportation will take place on Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. along U.S. Highway 2 along the southern border of Glacier National Park.

The mitigation work will be focused along the John. F. Stevens Canyon between Essex and Snow Slip, along the Middle Fork Flathead River, where avalanches have been known to impact the BNSF Railway. Travelers should expect delays of up to two hours between mile markers 180 and 191.

The Flathead Avalanche Center (FAC) has issued avalanche warnings for the Whitefish, Flathead and Swan Ranges as well as Glacier Park through Thursday morning.

On Monday and Tuesday, the Flathead Avalanche Center reported a round of natural and human-triggered avalanches in the Whitefish Range, along the southern edge of Glacier Park and the Swan Range. Most started above 5,500 to 6,000 feet as a result of heavy new snow and strong wind overloading the old snow surface or buried weak layers.

One large debris pile from a natural avalanche inside Glacier Park crossed Going-to-the-Sun Road and McDonald Creek.

For updated forecasting information visit www.flatheadavalanche.org.

Nationwide, avalanche fatalities nationwide this winter have already surpassed yearly averages, and the Flathead Avalanche Center has received more than twice the average number of reports of skiers and riders caught and carried by avalanches.

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