15-foot-deep mudslide closes main route to popular Idaho mountain town

Idaho

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A large mudslide has closed the Idaho highway that offers direct access to popular Idaho mountain areas, according to a Facebook post from the Idaho Transportation Department on Tuesday morning.

Idaho 55, which connects the Treasure Valley north to McCall, Donnelly and Cascade, was buried under about 15 feet of rock, dirt and debris several miles north of Banks, according to the ITD 511 road report map.

The Idaho Statesman reports ITD spokesman Jake Melder said it will likely take “many hours” to clear the slide, with work continuing into Tuesday evening or possibly overnight into Wednesday. Melder said the slide occurred after rain saturated the hillside, causing erosion.

“We don’t know what the extent of the damage may or may not be,” Melder said Tuesday.

The popular recreation areas are still accessible via U.S. 95, which will take travelers up to New Meadows and south on the open portion of Idaho 55. The road report on Tuesday morning classified the road between New Meadows and McCall as “difficult” due to slush and other winter driving conditions.

The slide occurred north of Banks Lowman Road, which connects Idaho 55 to Idaho 21.

Crews are still working on the landslide and in an updated post Wednesday, ITD says they anticipate opening one lane Wednesday afternoon. Click here for updates.

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