POLSON — A High Wind Warning has prompted the Montana Department of Transportation to advise travelers in the Mission Valley to avoid Montana Highway 35.
Travelers are urged to seek an alternate route between Polson and Bigfork due to debris being blown onto the highway from high winds along the east shore of Flathead Lake.
Several intermittent closures were already in effect on Saturday morning due to trees coming down across the road, according to MDT.
As of 9 a.m., a tree had fallen across the road seven miles south of Bigfork and was blocking the entire road.
Drivers should use US Highway 93 North and travel along the west side of Flathead Lake.
The National Weather Service in Missoula has issued a High Wind Warning until 9 p.m. on Saturday.
Northeast winds 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph are expected and gusts on Flathead Lake could reach 60 mph. Wave heights on Flathead Lake will be 3-6 ft with locally higher waves.
Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines and widespread power outages are expected.
Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Waves and wind could result in damage to boats and docks on Flathead Lake.
The NWS says people should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows.