Hello winter my old friend

An arctic blast brought snow and freezing temperatures earlier this week.

Sign up for RAVE alerts and prepare for chilly weather 

Char-Koosta News 

There were moments Monday when wind gusts created swirling white outs from the powdery snow, but overall, the first valley wide snowfall had little impact on business as usual, at first.

“We had a couple crashes,” said CSKT Police Chief Craige Couture. “A semi truck had to stop and put chains on.”

As the day progressed, there was a multi-car crash near Evaro, Couture said. That was followed by a crash south of Polson on the hill.

The cold temperatures were growing more slippery as the day wore on. Another crash was reported on Ravalli Hill. By dusk, Interstate-90 around Missoula was only open for emergency travel.

Typically, on a given day there are up to five crashes on clear roads, Couture said. Couture cautioned people to plan for an extra travel time.

As of Monday afternoon, Clayton Matt, director of tribal services said, no departments had reported any significant impacts from the snow.

Crews were scrapping away snow and sanding sidewalks before most were employees up for the day Monday.

John Neiss, CSKT’s facility manager, said crews monitor video feeds and start attacking the snow before the morning crew arrives. Monday’s crews responded to the early snow event in stride.

“Last year the winter got long and the guys got tired when we got that last one in April,” Neiss said. “That one was brutal.”

Temperatures should reach the 40s again by the weekend, but everyone’s getting the message – winter is here again.

All tribal employees have the option to sign up for the Rave Alerts, which connect to personal cellphones and emails to warm of delayed work schedules and even snow closures in extreme conditions. Sign ups can be found at cskt.org under the Home/Communications pull-down menu.

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