Rocky Boy still recovering from winter storm - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Rocky Boy still recovering from winter storm

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Rocky Boy - Nearly 1,000 people are still without power in the Hi-Line as a result of Monday's record breaking storm. 

KFBB is told that more than 100 NorthWestern Energy employees are working through treacherous, wet, drifty snow right now.

The entire Rocky Boy Reservation or 900 homes and about 5,000 people are dealing with the aftermath of Monday's storm, and many are stuck in their homes until help arrives. 

"You notice that little hole right there, that was a snow cave where these dogs were stuck in, and I had to get them out with a cookie sheet the other day, because I could not access my shovel" said Jim Swan.

Jim Swan shot video of snow piles outside his home. He lives just five miles from the Rocky Boy Agency where up to three feet of snow was dumped earlier this week, leaving residents like Swan stranded and snowed in. 

"There were burms at least three feet to in some places 6-8 feet high on the roads," said Swan. 

The snow is also heavy and wet, making it nearly impossible to plow. 

"And that's one of the difficulties in plowing that, it's not an easy snow to remove. It piles up on your blades and you end up getting stuck. If we're going through a snow drift, the bottom 8-12 inches is just slush and water," said Dustin White, Chippewa Cree Tribal Water Resources Dept. Director. 

Right now, White says that some roads are open, including one from Rocky Boy to Box Elder. However, since the snow is so slushy, plow trucks are moving only100 feet of snow an hour.. 

"And then we will start working on clearing out individual driveways and farmers and ranchers that are stuck a quarter mile or half a mile off the roadways," said White. 

The conditions have also knocked over power lines. NorthWestern Energy crews are on the ground right now, working to repair those poles..and restore energy to the rest of its customers.

"And we have brought in some specialized trucks with tracks that can go on snow pretty well, and we've been using those where it's appropriate," said Butch Larcombe, NW Energy Spokesperson.

NorthWestern Energy is asking that its customers call them if they're still without power. The best number to reach them is 1-888-467-2669. There are also shelters and feeding stations set up in Hays  The shelter is located at the Kills at Night Recreation Center on Main St. In Hays. The Fort Belknap tribal community has also opened two warming and feeding stations, including one at the Lodgepole Middle School and one at 163 Dora Helgeson St. In Dodson. 

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