NewsGreat Falls News


September snow storm toppled trees across Great Falls

People are still digging out of their driveways and cleaning up the mess
Posted at 4:18 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 20:58:01-04

A September storm brought heavy snow, gusty winds, and hazardous road conditions to a large part of north-central Montana, dropping more than a foot of snow in and around Great Falls.

“It was very windy, very blustery. The snow was coming down. Graupel came down and the rain was coming down with it. The wind was relentless,” said Great Falls resident Theresa Farrar.

And come Monday, Montanans across the state were left digging out of their driveways and cleaning up the mess.

“Now we have broken branches and frozen branches. I’m the least of my worry. I’m worried about down there where they are still kind of hanging over,” Farrar said.

Trees and power lines still lay on the ground as crews work.

Todd Seymanski, City of Great Falls forester, says at this time the city will only focus on the Boulevard District, which runs roughly from the Civic Center east to about 25th Street between 2nd Avenue North and 2nd Avenue South.

“Right now, we do not have the resources to address anything outside of the Boulevard District. According to the city’s ordinance, the care and maintenance is up to the property owners,” Seymanski said.

Semanski says the department has about seven employees and they are unable to respond outside of that district.

On Sunday, the crew worked from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m., and they were back at it Monday morning and plan to work throughout the week.

As for residents outside of the Boulevard District, the responsibility is left in their hands.

“I’m thankful that it was a miracle, and no one got hurt. When people have needed help, people come to help other people,” Farrar said. “We’re blessed.”

The City of Great Falls released the following information on Monday:

  • The Forestry Department is aware of the extensive damage caused by the storm. The Forestry Department will be responding to Boulevard District trees only. Any trees located outside of the Boulevard are the responsibility of the property owners.
  • If you live in the Boulevard District and have any tree limbs hanging or any tree related items that pose a safety issue please call Park and Recreation at 771-1265.
  • After all the safety concerns have been handled, staff will be systematically going through the entire Boulevard District picking up downed branches.