Up to 4 feet of snow in Montana closes highways
Associated Press Writer
HELENA, Mont. ” A storm dumped as much as 4 feet of snow on northwest Montana and piled it in drifts 12 feet high, blocking major highways Wednesday and isolating an entire town.
Many schools were closed in the area along the Rocky Mountain Front.
Officials said all roads in and out of the town of Browning ” just east of Glacier National Park ” were closed Wednesday.
A foot of snow fell in Browning during the night, bringing the total since the storm started Monday to 4 feet, the National Weather Service said.
“Getting out of my door to the street, (the snow) was up to my waist,” Browning Schools Superintendent Mary Johnson said Wednesday. “This is by far the worst (storm) we’ve had in several winters and it’s still snowing.”
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Johnny Noe, co-owner of the St. Mary Lodge in Glacier National Park, reported 5 feet of snow with 12-foot drifts.
“We were getting about 2 inches an hour. It was just pounding, pounding, pounding,” Noe told the Great Falls Tribune on Wednesday.
Farther east, the National Weather Service said 2 feet of snow had fallen near Cut Bank.
The Montana Department of Transportation said Interstate 15 was closed for about 75 miles from near Great Falls to near Shelby, along with several other highways in the region.
Weather service meteorologist Jonathan Suk said in Great Falls that the heavy snow was produced by moist air coming in from the Oregon coast and colliding with cold air flowing south out of Canada.
The Montana Highway Patrol said icy roads were blamed for two traffic deaths Tuesday.