Saturday snow storm leads to slew of crashes
A sudden Saturday snowstorm brought 1.3 inches of snow last Saturday and was a factor in 25 motor vehicle crashes mainly on I-90 on Saturday and Sunday, including a Columbus Fire Rescue truck.
The crashes began around 3:30 p.m. Saturday and included a roll-over with injuries near Reed Point, guard rail collisions, slide-offs and a Columbus Fire Rescue truck rolling near mile marker 404 while en route to a call of a semi that rolled, was on fire and was being hit by other cars.
The fire truck was a pickup and fishtailed while going up the hill and then rolled two or three times, according to CFR Battalion Chief/EMS Coordinator Nick Jacobs. The call the truck was responding to was later determined to involve only the semi and no fire, said Jacobs.
Both firefighters were able to extricate themselves and were not injured.In all, there were approximately 13 accidents to which MHP, deputies and fire crews responded on Saturday.
Sunday brought more of the same with approximately 12 crashes involving multiple semi trucks that jack-knifed, one semi being side-swiped by another, and slide-offs, according to the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch records.
Snow & snowpack
Saturday’s storm dumped 1.3 inches of snow from a localized storm that bumped January’s snowfall total up to 11.3 inches, nearly double January’s normal snowfall amount, according to the National Weather Service.
As of Wednesday, Feb.5, snowpack statewide is above average in 15 of the 21 basins monitored by the Nature Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). One month ago, 19 basins were above average. The drop is considered largely to be due to unseasonably warm January temperatures that melted snowpack and many lower elevations. Overall, two basins currently sit in the 90 percentile, three are in the 80 percentile and one is in the 70 percentile, according to the NRCS.
That appears to the case in the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Basins, that are still above average but lower than one month ago.
The Upper and Lower Yellowstone River Basins remain strong at 115 percent and 103 percent repsectively, according to the NRCS.
Some of the basins are as follows:
•Upper Yellowstone Basin: 115 percent of normal (130% one month ago)
•Lower Yellowstone Basin: 103 percent (112%)
•Jefferson River Basin: 105 percent (120%)
•Madison River Basin: 85 percent (97%)
•Gallatin River Basin: 105 percent (120%)
•Missouri Headwaters: 102 percent (116%)
In true fashion of recent weather trends, this past several days of cold and snow are expected to be a thing of the past by Thursday, with a predicted high of 48 degrees, followed by a high of 55 on Friday, according to the NWS
That warming trend is forecast to extend into the weekend with highs of 59 and 56 Saturday and Sunday and lows in the upper 30s.