HAMILTON – They’re attacking this week’s snow with everything they’ve got in the Bitterroot Valley.
However, it’s going to be days before all the shovels, plows and snowblowers make a difference. And with more snow to come, Ravalli County is advising people to check their preparations and ask for help if they need it.
- Snow prompts closure of Ravalli County non-essential offices
- Ravalli County dealing with snow covered roads, slow travel
- Hamilton declares “snow emergency”
While other parts of the Northwest are more accustomed to being buried in two feet of snow in a single storm, it’s a rare occurrence in the Bitterroot — except for this week.
“So, obviously we’ve had quite a bit of snow accumulation in the valley, anywhere from 18-to-24 inches or more in the last couple of days,” Ravalli County Office of Emergency Management Director Eric Hoover said.
“It’s quite a storm. With the weather forecast, we could be expecting another 5-to-6 inches before the end of the week,” he added.
All over the valley, cars and homes are buried. While some people are moving again, many remain stranded — or at least their cars are somewhere else, abandoned in the drifts that have engulfed them, even in downtown Hamilton.
“We’ve had a lot of people that have gotten stuck trying to get out of their driveways. I know there’s a ton of, every other rig you see on the road is a private snowplow,” Hoover said.
“We had a break in the weather today. We’re hoping that our state, county and municipal road crews had an opportunity to catch up on some of the side streets and those areas,” he continued.
While main roads and streets are open, the county remains concerned about people in the outlying areas, and what could happen when all this snow starts to melt.
Hoover says that with more snow in the forecast it’s a good time for people to check their emergency supplies and call for help if they need it.
“You know the best thing to do is to just make sure you have a resource. Be ready to reach out to people if you need help. There’s a lot of people out there that have been helping their neighbors,” Hoover told MTN News.
“I’ve heard reports of people taking snow blowers and snow plows and helping their neighbor, helping them get groceries. The best thing to do is make sure you have some resources and by all means, if you need help and don’t have anywhere else to turn, please reach out.”
In some parts of the valley, this is the most snow the Bitterroot has received in two days since the 1890s.