Heavy snow brings down emergency communications tower

Wallace, Idaho - For the last couple of months the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office had been taking calls from concerned citizens who claimed their scanners were no longer receiving radio traffic.  

More recently the Sheriff’s Office, along with other emergency entities, started to have static issues with several of their channels. Within the last couple of weeks, they lost one of our vital communication channels all-together.

The communication channel in question happens to be on top of Sunset Peak so personnel rode tracked snow machines into the remote repeater site to assess the situation.

Once at the site, they found the 60 foot tower, which holds several radio antennas, had collapsed and was laying on the ground.

Officials believe a heavy build-up of ice and snow caused the loss of support wires, which in the end, allowed the tower to freely twist and fall with the combined weight and high wind speeds.

Since the discovery of this severe problem, planning and preparation to get equipment and repair personnel to the site for temporary repairs has begun.

Once these temporary repairs are completed, it should allow all normal radio traffic to resume. Due to the remote location and weather obstacles, permanent repairs will not be accomplished until full access to the site is available.

The Shoshone County Sheriff's Office says despite the loss of the tower the our communication center is still functioning and operating like normal.