Tuesday’s City News: Avalanche Danger, Potholes, Flooding

City of Missoula employees are removing downtown snow berms, clearing storm drains, filling sandbags, answering calls from citizens and repairing potholes that are erupting with the temperature change.

Here’s some news:

•    Reporting potholes or standing water on streets is one phone call or two clicks away. Call us at 552-6360 or report a pothole online by visiting www.ci.missoula.mt.us, clicking the At Your Service button and choosing Report a Pothole from the list displayed. However you report, make sure to give the address of the problem.

•    Stay off Mount Jumbo. Mount Jumbo is closed, as is the City’s portion of Mount Sentinel. Trespassers could put people’s homes at risk. The West Central Montana Avalanche Center increased the avalanche danger rating in the steeper basins and gullies in the foothills around Missoula to HIGH on Tuesday morning. Significant rain will increase the danger.

•    Flooding on streets and in parks could occur locally. The South Hills drainage system has a huge capacity, and the city infrastructure is well suited to handle significant runoff of meltwater. City employees are filling sandbags and clearing key inlets to the stormwater system. The course of events will depend on temperatures and rainfall.

•    Missoula Police Department officers notified residents in the at-risk zone at the base of Mount Jumbo about avalanche danger on Monday. The warning projected danger to last at least until noon on Thursday, and many residents chose to leave. The Red Cross is providing shelter at the First Baptist Church at West Pine and Woody streets.

•    Because of the danger, the area of the avalanche where volunteers were working is closed to all activity. Fire Chief Jason Diehl will consult with avalanche experts to determine when mitigation work and snow removal might begin in the area.