Numerous Crashes Reported in Missoula County, Drive With Extreme Caution
UPDATE: Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 10:56 a.m.
KGVO News spoke with Mel Holtz, Public Information Officer with Frenchtown Fire District about the extremely hazardous driving conditions on I-90 west of Missoula.
"Just west of Alberton on I-90 from the 71 mile marker all the way to 77, we have extreme black ice conditions," said Holtz. "Beyond that, both in Missoula and I-90 right now it's really, really icy and really bad. So, we're just recommending people to avoid these roads if at all possible until it warms up and until snowplows can get out and clean this up.
"About a mile west of Alberton, we've got the interstate shut down in the eastbound direction. There are multiple semis piled up. Luckily, we're reporting no injuries, but the interstate is shut down with complete blockage right now in the eastbound lanes.
"Westbound is open but the eastbound lane is shut down. We've got semis blocking the eastbound lane, but we do have wreckers arriving on scene now to try to clear this out, but there are very dicey conditions this morning."
Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 8:30 a.m.
Missoula County has issued a MEANS alert for all driving in the area. Montana Highway Patrol is responding to numerous accidents in the county and authorities are asking drivers to use extreme caution when they are on these icy roads.
Roads Closures and Blockages in Missoula County
Missoula County issued a MEANS alert asking the public to avoid I-90 at mile marker 114 because of extremely slick roads and an accident. Drivers are being advised to use alternative routes.
The Montana Department of Transportation reported that a crash is causing blockage at mile marker 124 where multiple vehicles have crashed. They are also reporting severe driving conditions on I-90 from mile marker 110-130 and 75-90. A crash at mile marker 117 has been reported as well.
According to our correspondent in Hamilton, there are icy roads on I-93 in Florence and Stevensville as well.
School Closures in Missoula County
Missoula County Public Schools are closed today and provided this statement:
All MCPS schools are closed today (with the exception of Seeley-Swan High School and The Lifelong Learning Center). Our partners at Beach Transportation have informed us that buses are not able to run their routes due to icy road conditions. All school activities are canceled as well. The safety of students and staff is our primary concern.
Hellgate Elementary has the following statement on their website:
Hellgate Transportation buses will not be running the morning of January 12, 2022 due to the severe road conditions caused by the freezing rain. If your child has come to school Hellgate Elementary will work with Hellgate Transportation to get them home safely at the usual time at the end of the typical school day.
Frenchtown School District has canceled school for the day and has this message on their website:
FTSD will not be able to run buses on the two-hour delay. We are canceling school for the day. If you have students at school, we will be here and keep them here until they are able to be safely picked up by parents or other arrangements. Thank you.
KGVO will provide more updates as they become available.