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Heavy snow causes several school closures

Some areas along the Front received 3+ feet of snow
September Snow In Montana
Posted at 6:37 PM, Sep 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 00:16:06-04

GREAT FALLS — The storm that dumped several feet of snow across parts of north-central Montana has prompted several school closures on Monday:

  • Conrad
  • Browning
  • Blackfeet Community College
  • Cut Bank
  • Shelby
  • Dutton
  • Choteau
  • Fairfield
  • Valier

Governor Steve Bullock declared an emergency in Montana on Sunday, citing the state's "severe early season storm." The Governor's Office said in a press release the hardest-hit areas are Cascade, Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lewis & Clark, Lincoln, Pondera, and Teton counties and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Glacier County, and Pondera County have issued local emergency declarations.

More than three feet of snow has fallen since Friday night in some areas, particularly along the Rocky Mountain Front and in several communities to the east, including Browning, East Glacier, and Heart Butte. More than a foot of snow has fallen in many other towns, including Choteau and Great Falls.

The National Weather Service in Great Falls said that Saturday's 9.7" snowfall in Great Falls set a daily and one-day September record. Since midnight, Great Falls has received another 4.3 inches, bringing the Great Falls storm total to 14 inches. The snow depth is about 7 inches due to settling and surface melting.

At 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Pondera County Disaster & Emergency Services and the Blackfeet Nation Emergency Operations Center said that roads are extremely dangerous and requested limited travel to emergency vehicles only until further notice.

The American Red Cross of Montana has opened a shelter at the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish, 237 1st Avenue NW, in Browning.Public Information Officer James McNeely said that Browning Public Schools, Blackfeet Community College, and Blackfeet Tribal offices will be closed on Monday. The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council announced on Sunday afternoon that Blackfeet Community Hospital will be closed on Monday with the exception of the Emergency Room & Ward which shall remain open.