Sunday Celebration Planned to Honor Rattlesnake Avalanche Volunteers [AUDIO]
When Missoula's first urban avalanche came roaring down Mount Jumbo on February 28, trapping three people, hundreds of volunteers worked for days at the scene.
This Sunday, all those volunteers and the rest of the community are invited to a celebration to honor their efforts. Organizer Tarn Ream said the event will be held at the Ten Spoons Winery on Rattlesnake Drive, not far from the avalanche site.
"The first night at the rescue operation, a lot of us were up there with probe poles and it was really amazing because so many people showed up so quickly," Ream said. "That response it itself was just mind blowing, and it was amazing that we found anybody alive at all, so we really want to give a huge thank you to the people of this community."
Ream said the volunteers from the neighborhood continued their clean-up and salvage efforts for weeks after the avalanche.
"From the one home that was completely obliterated, we removed most of the debris because it was literally torn apart," Ream said. "We removed some of the foundation that was unsafe. The other homes that were damaged are being repaired and rebuilt."
Michel Colville died from injuries sustained in the avalanche, while her husband Fred Allendorf and Phoenix Scoles, 9, survived the avalanche.
Ream said the thank you celebration will be this Sunday, Mother's Day, at Ten Spoons Winery, 4175 Rattlesnake Drive, from 2 to 5 p.m. The West Central Montana Avalanche Center will have a table of information, and there will be live music by the Frederico Brothers. It will be a pot-luck affair, so visitors are encouraged to bring their own chairs and food to share.
Volunteer Organizer Tarn Ream