GREAT FALLS - Parts of Glacier County are still reeling from the massive amounts of snow that have fallen so far this season. The communities of Heart Butte, Browning, and East Glacier have been especially hard-hit, with some areas recording more than 70" of snow just in February.
Several storm systems in recent days have also caused severe blowing and drifting snow, leaving drifts of more than six feet in their week.
The Blackfeet Nation said in a news release issued Tuesday that it declared a state of emergency on January 4th due to the severe weather and accumulation of snow within the Blackfeet Reservation.
Aan Incident Command Post - led by Robert DesRosier - was established at Tribal headquarters to communicate, coordinate, and control all emergency situations during the ongoing incident on Feb. 19.
Blackfeet officials say that the goals of the emergency declaration and the creation of the Incident Command Post are: elders and medical needs are priority for services; roads and plowing; human and first-responder safety.
The news release states that the Incident Command team has coordinated with state officials, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Blackfeet Housing, the Salvation Army, church volunteers, independent contractors, and the general public to reach all objectives.
The agency is posting regular updates on the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council Facebook page.
DesRosier said in the press that a news report on Monday reported false information about the tribe turning an offer of assistance from the state. DesRosier said that this is not and never will be the stance of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council.
In the press release, DesRosier noted: "
The Blackfeet Tribe would like to thank all the hard working plowers that are out there throughout the reservation working day and night to remove snow. It is a tough job. Once snow is removed, a new weather system moves in creating more work," DesRosier noted in a statement.
"These individuals have been working overtime, barely seeing their families throughout this disaster. They continue every day to try and keep the roads open. We ask that our community be patient and stay off the roads so that they can do their work in case of any emergency that may arise," he added.