50 inches (127 cm) more snow than normal – Worst winter since 1971
“The Blackfeet Reservation remains under a state of emergency as yet another blizzard bears down on the Rocky Mountain Front tonight into tomorrow,” writes Nicky Ouellet of Montana Public Radio (MTPR). “The series of storms have forced Heart Butte Public Schools to close 10 times since the start of the year.”
Lee Folley, superintendent of Heart Butte Schools in the southern corner of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, says at times this winter, wind has piled snow so high that plows haven’t been able to get to Heart Butte.
“Folley says the community has really pulled together to dig each other out of the drifts, stock up on firewood, and make sure heating vents are clear and pipes don’t burst. People with burlier vehicles drive elders into Browning 30 miles away to pick up medical prescriptions and make dialysis appointments.
“But even with the neighborly support, Folley says Heart Butte has spent a few days entirely cut off from the outside world. Conditions aren’t much better in Browning.
“Jim Brusda with the National Weather Service in Great Falls says the reservation is in the middle of the kind of winter you don’t see very often.
“They basically had 50 inches more snow in the East Glacier region than normal.”
“Brusda says the snow is so deep in some areas that road crews are using front end loaders, excavators and backhoes to clear snow.
“They haven’t had a winter this bad, this extreme since the winter of ’71,” he says.
“The National Weather Service has issued another winter storm watch for the reservation and Rocky Mountain Front through Tuesday evening. Blizzard conditions, including 50 mile-per-hour winds and blowing and new snow, are possible. Travelers are advised to take it slow and keep up with new forecasts.”
Thanks to Charlie Young for this link
“I live in Montana, and this is what the weather has been this winter,” says Charlie. “Lots of snow, cold, and wind. The Blackfeet Reservation is in Eastern Montana.”