25 killed in deadly avalanches this year, expert weighs in on what’s lead to the increased risk

West

NORTH BEND, Wash. (NewsNation Now) — Avalanche Forecasters say they rarely see the danger of a possible avalanche this high with 25 people dying in them so far this year.

Last year, 23 people died in avalanches last winter. Experts warn the risk is even worse with snow moving into the Rocky Mountains.

California, Colorado, New Hampshire, Utah, Montana, Washington, and Alaska have all experienced avalanches so far this year. Just this past weekend, two men died in Colorado and a third in Montana.

NewsNation Anchor Rob Nelson spoke with Scott Schell, Executive Director of the Northwest Avalanche Center, on the increased number of avalanche deaths.

Schell attributes the avalanches to the “exceptionally weak snowpack” and says “in some areas it could be a once in ten years occurrence.”

He advises that everyone who goes into the backcountry for snow activities should know the forecast before going out, get avalanche safety gear, and take some sort of avalanche preparedness class.

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