News & Features

Montana Residents Dig Out as Storm Shuts Down Highways

Missoula set a new daily snowfall record with 8.6 inches

HELENA — Residents in western Montana are digging out from more than 2 feet (60 centimeters) of snow as a winter storm creates treacherous driving conditions in the southern part of the state.

Missoula set a new daily snowfall record with 8.6 inches (22 centimeters) on Monday, but that was overshadowed by the totals in the Bitterroot Valley: 26 inches (66 centimeters) in Stevensville and 25 inches (64 centimeters) in Hamilton.

In southwestern Montana, snow mixed with 40 mph (64 kph) wind gusts Tuesday. Officials shut down a 15-mile (24-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 15 near the Idaho border, and eastbound traffic on Interstate 90 was halted east of Reed Point because of an accident.

The Billings Gazette reports state transportation officials have restricted travel on the ice-and-snow-covered roadways to emergency traffic only from Reed Point west to Three Forks and from Big Timber north to Judith Gap.