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Drivers adjust to dicey conditions at Lookout Pass

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: Jan 29 2014 10:54:55 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 29 2014 11:07:53 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Reports of compact snow and patches of ice prompted drivers to take caution as they headed over Lookout Pass on Wednesday.

“A few spots were icy but it was mainly slushy and wet roads,” said Portland-based trucker Terry Ludlow, taking a break in Haugan. He had just finished driving over Lookout. He said drivers were cautious, slowing down where they needed to.

Like any trucker, he prepares for the worst conditions.

“You have warm clothes, you have tire chains. You make sure you have plenty of fuel,” said Ludlow.

One truck over, Charles Eaglespeaker agreed on the importance of preparation.

“You definitely have to prepare for the worst…always have an extra pair of pants and a thick coat…backpack full of snacks and water. Anything that will keep you hydrated and warm,” said Eaglespeaker.

The Missoula-based trucker was preparing to go over the pass, to bring woodchips to a Washington paper mill.

“I’m just worried about the temperature dropping coming back and it being icy. Other than that, just going to take my time,” said Eaglespeaker.

At a nearby gas station, Rebecca Storbeck took a break with her family. She had been helping her daughter move.

“Coming over, it was compact snow and ice, but doable as long as you took your time,” said Storbeck.

The conditions certainly weren’t preferable on Wednesday, but drivers in Montana are used to the unexpected.