Storm slams NW Montana; newspaper delivery delayed

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Snow plows clear 3rd Street East at 4th Avenue East in Kalispell on Thursday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

Numerous accidents, cars in ditches, abandoned vehicles and rollovers left emergency services workers with their hands full on Friday as a full-bore arctic storm blew into Northwest Montana. It also resulted in delivery of the Saturday print edition of the Daily Inter Lake being postponed.

“Due to the bad weather conditions and many unpassable roads, the Saturday issue will be delivered with Sunday’s issue,” said Ken Varga, the Inter Lake circulation director.

Severe driving conditions were in effect along U.S. 2, U.S. 93, U.S. 12, Montana 200 and Interstate 90, among many other roads.

The Flathead County Office of Emergency Services reported Friday afternoon that the blowing and drifting snow was wreaking havoc.

“Flathead County Road Department notified us at approximately 4 p.m. that East-West Roads from Glacier Park International Airport and north of the airport are drifting closed faster than the road crews can plow. The parking lot, and street to our office (over by Glacier High School) is also beginning to drift,” the Office of Emergency Services reported on Facebook.

Reportedly, County Road Department crews were being sent home for the day in late afternoon and would resume plowing operations this morning, according to Flathead OES.

Snow totals in the Kalispell area were expected to be at least 6 to 8 inches, whereas West Glacier and Marias Pass could see a foot or more of snow. High winds were making matters even more complicated.

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