Highway 21 reopens after avalanche danger diminishes
Image by Courtesy Idaho Transportation Department
The 12-mile stretch of Idaho 21 between the Grandjean Junction and Banner Summit, closed since 7:30 a.m. this morning as an avalanche-safety precaution, reopened just before noon today. Monday, Dec. 17, said Reed Hollingshead with the Idaho Transportation Department. It was the first closure of this section of road this winter.
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From earlier today -
The 12-mile stretch of Idaho 21 between the Grandjean Junction and Banner Summit closed this morning, Monday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 a.m, according to Reed Hollingshead with the Idaho Transportation Department. As an avalanche safety precaution, the Idaho Transportation Department decided to make the closure. The route will be evaluated for re-opening at noon today.
"More than a foot of snow accumulated at Banner Summit over the weekend," said Hollingshead. "No slides have occurred yet, but the avalanche risk is 'considerable,' according to ITD forecasts."
The National Weather Service comments that "MAJOR WINTER STORM CONTINUES BRINGING STRONG WINDS AND HEAVY SNOWFALL TODAY. EXPECT A TOTAL OF OVER A FOOT BY THIS EVENING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW WILL FALL FROM NOW (4 AM MST) THROUGH NOON MST TODAY. WINDS WILL GUST OVER 50 MPH AT BANNER SUMMIT."
This will be the first closure of this section of road this winter.
During avalanche season last year, there were eight closures between Nov. 1 and March 31, totaling 21.5 days. A total of 50 slides tumbled down on the highway during that time.
Photo courtesy Idaho Transportation Department (photo of an earlier event)