Bitter cold causing some problems in several MT communities

Posted at 3:33 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 17:33:52-05

Winter weather is causing some problems in several north-central Montana communities.

Bitter cold temperatures forced Rocky Boy School District and the Head Start Program to cancel school on Wednesday.

In addition, Chippewa Cree Tribal Court closed at 12 p.m. due to no heat and frozen pipes. Arraignments will be scheduled as needed. Staff will be available as needed as well.

Water pressure issues in Glacier County have closed a number of locations, including Browning Public Schools and Blackfeet Tribal offices.

Two Medicine Water Company officials found a main valve had frozen shut in the water plant's altitude vault. "So somewhere probably yesterday (Tuesday) -- last night we're thinking that heater went out, but we are replacing that with a new heater today as well," said Two Medicine Water manager Alvin Yellow Owl.

Yellow Owl said operators performed checks on the site's heater before problems began Wednesday morning. And as he mentioned, the heater has since been replaced. Water pressure should be restored by Wednesday night.

The City of Choteau said late Wednesday morning that Spring Creek is flooding and out of its banks due to ice jams. Officials say they are trying to keep the water contained and prevent it from crossing 3rd Street NE.

Anyone who lives in the affected areas is being asked to take necessary action to protect property. The city has a limited number of sandbags available.