Mar 1, 2014 1:49 AM by Jacqueline Quynh, Jill Valley, Melissa Rafferty
MISSOULA - A house in the Rattlesnake area of Missoula has been covered by an avalanche that came down off Mt. Jumbo at around 4:15 p.m. on Friday.
MTN News reporter Jill Valley is at the scene at Holly Street and reports that neighbors are frantically digging the snow off the house to see if anyone is inside.
Witnesses say it is a two-story house.
Valley reports that rescuers are clearing debris from the house trying to get inside.
Witnesses say the home has extensive damage, and that several people were able to get out.
Missoula County Sheriff's Office public information officer Paige Pavalone says that Search & Rescue personnel have been dispatched to the scene.
Valley says the scene is "incredibly intense." We will have more details when they become available.
(UPDATE, 5:25 pm) The Missoula County Sheriff's Office reports: "One child has been recovered from the avalanche and is being transported to the hospital. Flathead County Search and Rescue and the Chaplain have been paged to the scene."
(UPDATE, 5:45 pm) The Missoula County Sheriff's Office says that Search & Rescue confirmed that they are searching for an elderly couple whose home was also hit by the avalanche.
(UPDATE, 6:15 pm) NorthWestern Energy reports that the Rattlesnake avalanche has damaged electric and gas services in the immediate area.
(UPDATE, 7 p.m.) Authorities say that a child and an elderly man have been recovered from the scene of the avalanche but the search continues for a missing elderly woman.
Missoula County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Paige Pavalone says the 8-year-old boy and the man were taken to St. Patrick Hospital, but there's no word on their conditions.
Pavalone says the avalanche that hit the home ripped off the top floor of the two-story house and then filled the bottom floor with snow and debris. The man was recovered from the bottom floor, but the woman has not yet been found.
(UPDATE, 7:45 pm) The Missoula County Sheriff's Office says that the third female victim has been recovered and was transported to St. Patrick's Hospital. She was breathing at the time of her transport.
(UPDATE, 9 pm) Missoula Police spokesman Sgt. Travis Welsh says that all three people who were reported missing when the slide sheared off the second floor of a home on Harrison near Holly Street have been found.
An 8-year-old boy and an elderly couple have been taken to the hospital, with Welsh saying, "It was reported that all are alive and breathing at the time of transport."