The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

2017 Blizzard in October


October 11, 2017

One of Grandma Moses paintings is titled, "It snows, oh it snows".

Those were the operative words around here last week when snow started falling Monday afternoon and by Monday night the power was off from Havre to Malta, blizzard like winds blew huge branches and sometimes whole trees to the ground and as Tuesday morning dawned, there were downed power lines all over parts of Chouteau, Hill, Blaine and Phillips County.

Observers think that Big Sandy got around 24 inches of snow and many places in the Bear Paw Mountains report getting over 30 inches of snow. Havre got around 15 inches of snow and on a Wednesday morning, October 4 Chinook was still out of power.

Neither "The Mountaineer" nor the "Blaine County Journal could get their weekly papers out that Wednesday, October 4 as power was down at the print shop. Those papers came out on Thursday, October 5. The "Havre Daily News" did not print a Tuesday edition and some say that there were no "Great Falls Tribunes" anywhere Tuesday, on US 87 and the Milk River country as their truck tipped over due to the icy conditions.

The snow was very heavy and wet and did a lot of damage. People trying to clean out their drive ways and sidewalks found they could hardly lift or push that snow away.

The lack of power caused many stores not to even open on Tuesday. Some lost power around 6pm on Monday and did not get it back on until around 6pm on Tuesday. It got plenty cold in plenty of area houses.

Big Sandy lucked out by not having an extended power outage. Havre, by comparison was out for 24 hours and by Wednesday morning, Chinook was not up yet.

Most towns in this area did not have school at all on Tuesday and several were still closed down on Wednesday.

Montana Department of Transportation personal heading out to plow the Beaver Creek road just got as far as Rotary Hill after a day of plowing and at that it was a one swipe road yet on Wednesday morning.

There were a lot of people snowbound on the prairies and in the mountains as well as in the Missouri Breaks and some of them don't look to get plowed out until the end of this week.

Needless to say, this is probably the end of a hot fire season in most of Montana.

Some have said all summer long when the Big Dry was in the throes of a drought and 95 above heat day after day, that they would take a good old Montana blizzard any day.

Well, we had a good old Montana blizzard and now people are not so sure what they want to see next in this Big Sky Country.

Temperatures have rebounded now and it is more like fall than winter but there is a lot of work to be done in Northern Montana just to get back to the way it was before that grand blizzard of October, 2017!

Like Grandma Moses said, "It snows, oh it snows".


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