For the week of February 10, 1999  thru February 16, 1999  

Snow slides strike East Fork home

Three houses damaged, road closed


By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer

f10avalanche.jpg (22501 bytes)One home sustained heavy damage after it, along with two others on Meadowbrook Road in East Fork, were struck by a series of avalanches. Meadowbrook remained partially closed at press time Tuesday. (Express photo by Charmaine McCann)

Three empty homes along Meadowbrook Road in East Fork Canyon sustained moderate to severe damage when between six and eight avalanches released and swept down the south side of the East Fork drainage yesterday afternoon.

According to Blaine County Chief Deputy Sheriff Gene Ramsey, no people were in the way of any of the slides when the avalanches released to the best of rescuers’ knowledge as of 4:30 p.m. yesterday.

However, one home, owned by part-time residents who are currently in California, experienced an onslaught of avalanche snow that crashed through a wall and filled parts of the kitchen, living room and den, Ramsey said.

Ramsey said it is difficult to tell if the house received structural damage because of the 20 or more feet of snow that are blocking the south-side view of the home. However, he said that there is probably structural damage.

Both other houses affected were hit by the same avalanche and sustained moderate damage, one to its windows and the other to its garage doors, Ramsey said.

Several of the other slides crossed Meadowbrook Road, closing it indefinitely on Tuesday afternoon, Ramsey said.

"Meadowbrook Road has four feet of snow with debris, trees and limbs," he said.

The Blaine County Road and Bridge department was working to clear the road yesterday afternoon.

"All the snow is very unstable and from talking to avalanche experts," Ramsey said, "this is the worst they’ve ever seen it. And the rain is going to add to the danger."

 

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