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UPDATED: Weather, crashes impact travel near Missoula

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Icy roads

The Frenchtown Rural Fire District posted photos on their Facebook page of the dangerously icy conditions on I-90. 

Freezing rain and icy roads caused 32 crashes and additional backups on Interstate 90 in both directions in the Missoula area on Wednesday morning. 

Fifty-three crashes were reported by Montana Highway Patrol in the Missoula District on Wednesday. Thirty-two occurred on I-90 and nine on Highway 93 South. No fatalities were reported, Sgt. Sean Finley said. 

I-90 eastbound was down to one lane east of Missoula near the Turah exit due to multiple crashes. There were also multiple crashes west of Missoula near Frenchtown, according to the highway patrol.

Eastbound lanes just west of Alberton experienced backups and closures, with many vehicles going into the ditch, according to the Frenchtown Rural Fire District. Black ice conditions were reported.

Two minor injuries were reported but no one was transported to the hospital. By Wednesday afternoon, one lane of eastbound traffic was open and road conditions had improved but patches of ice were still present on the interstate. 

Semi tractor-trailers jackknifed, blocking both lanes, while other vehicles slid off the icy roadway, according to the Associated Press. 

Most of Missoula County Public Schools, Frenchtown School District and Clinton School were closed on Wednesday due to the poor road conditions as well.

Severe weather warnings have been issued by the Montana Department of Transportation. Officials are asking people to use extreme caution when driving. Call 511 or use the Department of Transportation’s interactive online map.

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