The Glacier County Sheriff's Office posted the following message on Facebook on Tuesday morning:
U.S. Highway 2 from Browning to Marias Pass - CLOSED
Highway 89 from Browning to St. Mary - CLOSED
Highway 89 from Browning to Dupuyer - CLOSED
U.S. Highway 2 from Browning to Blackfoot - SEVERE DRIVING CONDITIONS. ALMOST A PURE WHITE-OUT.
Highway 464 from Browning to Babb - CLOSED
Highway 358 from Cut Bank to Valier - CLOSED
"It's terrible out there folks. It's best to stay off the roads today," the Sheriff's Office said.
The National Weather Services says that blizzard conditions are expected today along the Rocky Mountain Front through this evening, with near white-out conditions expected for eastern Glacier County. Strong west winds gusting between 45 and 65 mph at times will likely combine with another round of light to moderate snow to reduce visibility to less than one quarter mile in some areas.
Additional drifting of snow will also make travel difficult to impossible, while continuing or even expanding road closures, and blocking access to buildings. This area has already been severely impacted by previous blizzard conditions, and this latest round will likely add to ongoing concerns.
The Montana Army National Guard says that the Montana State Emergency Coordination Center (SECC) began bracing for this winter storm event last week. The SECC was activated last Wednesday and has been in close coordination with the Incident Commander at the Blackfeet Tribe. They are in contact with the IC several times a day. MT Disaster & Emergency Services has deployed a District Field Officer to Browning as a resource for the Incident Commander.
The Montana Department of Transportation is making as many resources available to the area as possible. This is equipment as well as mechanics.
MT DES is routinely meeting with state-level response partners from various state agencies to see what requests may be on the horizon and ensure we are postured to help as requested by the tribe. MT DES is supporting the tribe's social media campaign efforts by sharing messages on Facebook and Twitter.
Outside of technical assistance, the tribe has not submitted any requests for assistance, according to the Guard.
"The tribe is doing a very good job and has established an incident command structure to manage the incident. They are fielding calls and assisting community members on a call-by-call basis," stated Delila Bruno, MT Disaster and Emergency Services Administrator.
Bruno encourages all Montanans to pay attention to the weather and listen for warnings from local officials. "When the weather does break, remember to replenish emergency supplies that allow your family to shelter in place - food, water, medication, firewood, animal needs," stated Bruno. "Winter is not over."
UPDATE: The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council posted the following message just after 10 a.m. on Tuesday:
BLACKFEET TRIBE DISASTER AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 27, 2018
ATTENTION FOR RESIDENTS OF THE BLACKFEET RESERVATION
HWY 89 SOUTH FROM DUPUYER TO BROWNING IS CLOSED
HWY 89 NORTH IS CLOSED FROM BROWNING TO ST. MARY
ROUTE 1 IS CLOSED
ROUTE 4-AWAITING UPDATE AT THIS TIME
ROUTE 8 IS OPEN TO HWY 89
ROUTE 6 OPEN
ROUTE 13 IS OPEN
DURHAM ROAD IS CLOSED FROM 89 W ACROSS TO THE RAILROAD TRACKS SOUTH
MISSION EAST OPEN AS FAR AS LEONARD GUARDIPEE
MISSION WEST-AWAITING UPDATE AT THIS TIME
HWY 464 IS CLOSED
SECONDARY 358 CUT BANK TO VALIER-CLOSED
BLACKFEET COMMUNITY HOSPITAL IS OPEN
HEART BUTTE CLINIC IS CLOSED
BIA IS CLOSED
STAY TUNED FOR UPDATED WEATHER REPORT AND WEATHER ADVISORY
THEY ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON THE WATER SITUATION IN HEART BUTTE.
IF YOU ARE OR GET STRANDED IN BROWNING, THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE AMERICAN RED CROSS IS PROVIDING AN EMERGENCY SHELTER AT THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH ANNEX. YOU MAY CALL 338-3900.
PLEASE BE SAFE AND DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THROUGH DRIFTS. THE SNOW IS PACKING AND MAKING IT DIFFICULT FOR PLOWS TO WORK WHERE PEOPLE ARE STUCK. DO NOT GO AROUND A ROAD CLOSED SIGN. IT IS CLOSED FOR A REASON
WE ARE WORKING TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES TO GET ROUTES OPEN
THE MAIN PRIORITY FOR PLOWS IS TO TRY AND CLEAR THE MAIN ROADS AND STREETS. COOPERATION FROM THE PUBLIC WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. PLOWS WILL BE WORKING TO KEEP THESE ROUTES OPEN AND CONCENTRATE ON THE EMERGENCY PLOWING. IF YOU NEED TO GET PLOWED OUT TO GET BACK INTO YOUR HOME, YOU MAY HAVE TO HIRE A PRIVATE CONTRACTOR. WE ARE STILL TRYING TO ASSIST THOSE THAT ARE IN MOST NEED AND MEET THE EMERGENCY REQUIREMENTS.