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Butte woman offers help to travelers stuck during Homestake Pass closure due to spring snowstorm

Winter storm stalls interstate traffic in Butte in May
Posted at 5:53 PM, May 23, 2024

BUTTE — A late winter storm proved to be a bit of a challenge for travelers passing along I-90 in the eastbound lanes just before Homestake Pass on May 23.

Noticing the interstate traffic at a standstill, a good Samartian marched out to place a huge sign in her yard to offer help to anyone who might need it.

"I think it’s rare for it to be this backed up for this length of time. We’ve seen the highway stopped before but I think it’s unusual for it to be stopped for this long," says Suba Ganesan, who lives in a neighborhood next to the interstate.

She set out the big sign with her phone number to offer help to motorists who were at a complete standstill on the interstate for several hours while the pass was closed.

"I’m trying to help people out that are stuck on the highway," says Suba. From the overpass, a motorist behind her could be seen weaving in and out of traffic.

"There’s a guy right there that I’m wondering, do you need help right now? Because he’s clearly trying to get around things," says Ganesan. The driver inched between two semi trucks as one honked. "That guy is terrifying me and that’s why I’m like, do you need assistance, are you in trouble? I will help you."

The Montana Department of Transportation issued a warning to travelers around 7 a.m. about road closures in the area but by 11 a.m., traffic started moving again and a warning flashed on an electronic board warning drivers to watch their speed in winter conditions.

But how does Ganesan, who grew up in the Mining City and has seen many a late spring snowstorm, feel about the weather?

"Oh, I’m so excited for the snow. My boys got up early this morning and we were playing in it and, you know, we love the snow," says Ganesan.

Travelers can check for up-to-date road conditions by visiting MDT’s online Traveler Information Map or by calling 511 before hitting the road.