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Interstate 90, Dec. 18

Images courtesy of Montana Department of Transportation.

Six semi-trucks have been stuck at different times and different places due to frigid road conditions Tuesday on Interstate 90 near Lookout Pass, according to Montana Highway Patrol. 

Semis driving without chains have been struggling just to make it over the pass, Sgt. Shawn Smally said. At one point both westbound lanes were blocked, backing up traffic headed up the hill nearly a mile, he said.

"That's the biggest problem we're having is they're not putting chains on and getting stuck on the pass," he said shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday. "It's snowing pretty heavily [in the area], and even though it looks pretty good, it's still slick. The snow is really wet and it will draw you right off the road."

It's been a busy day for Smally, who assisted three or four vehicles that had slid off the road within an hour, he said.

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Snow-related crashes spanned I-90 through western Montana Tuesday with a vehicle sliding into a guardrail near Turah, reported as MHP Capt. Jim Kitchin spoke with the Missoulian.

While the number of crashes appeared manageable Tuesday, Kitchin said Tuesday night held potential for worsened conditions with snow and rain forecast to fall.

"I expect the temperature is going to drop and we'll have some bad conditions," he said. "People need to slow down and use their seat belts."

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