What’s Left To Clear Of Idaho's Highway 21 Avalanches?

Mar 7, 2019

If you live in Stanley, Idaho, it’s going to take you an extra couple of hours to drive to the Treasure Valley. That’s because an 11-mile stretch of road between Lowman and Stanley is still covered in snow.


Five feet of snow turned into about 50 after the series of avalanches buried the road. The Idaho Transportation Department has extra crews dispatched to help clear the snow.


"I actually talked to our avalanche director who lives out there. He’s been working there for 11 years. He said in his 11 years, this is the worst that he’s ever seen it," says Jake Melder, public information specialist with the transportation department.


Melder says Highway 75 through Ketchum is the best alternate route to Stanley.


He doesn’t yet know when the road will reopen. Crews also have to assess the damage to the asphalt itself. He says clearing 50 feet of snow is a huge project.


"We can’t just push all the snow off the road in one sweep," he says.


The depth of the snow and occasional fallen trees in the way have been slowing crews down, but Melder says they are making progress. There’s more snow in the forecast, which could add to the pile.


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