Blackfeet Reservation under state of emergency after yet another blizzard

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.”

5 thoughts on “Blackfeet Reservation under state of emergency after yet another blizzard

  1. Certainly has NOT warmed up in Montana in the last 47 years!! And glaciers will certainly begin to expand.

  2. There is a charming book in the “Little House In The Prairie” series called, “The Long Winter” that describes such a brutal series of blizzards in the late 1800’s.

    A little railway town got cut off by the snows, as places where the railway cut through hills got filled by packed, windblown snow, and the trains couldn’t get through. Although people worked frantically to clear the cuts, the winds were constant and the drifting snow kept refilling the cuts. It was a close call, as the town faced starvation.

    I’m often amazed by how many young people have no back-up food supply.

  3. Before the coming of the white man how did the indian tribes cope with deep snow?
    There were no snow shovels, snow blowers, snow mobiles, SUVs or anything invented by European humanity. Seriously if they survived for thousands of years without our technology they can cope with a mere blizzard today.

    • Very true, if they follow the old ways. I grew up in Massachusetts, went to Plymouth Plantations on Thanksgiving many years and noted that in the long houses built by the tribes in that area on a raw, cold and windy day… the Indians homes were a lot more snug an comfortable than the homes the Pilgrims built.

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