- Associated Press - Monday, February 6, 2017

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on a northwestern Montana blizzard (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Tribe has declared a state of emergency after a blizzard dumped more than 4 feet of snow on parts of the reservation east of Glacier National Park.

Monday’s emergency declaration by tribal chairman Harry Barnes calls for residents to stay indoors and off the roads and highways.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Brusda says the blizzard that started dumping snow in northwestern Montana on Friday started diminishing in intensity Monday afternoon.

He says snow was falling at a rate of 1 inch per hour near Marias Pass on U.S. Highway 2, which has been closed to traffic.

Brusda says meteorologists will check further reports to determine whether the 51 inches that has fallen in East Glacier Park since Friday is a record.


8 a.m.

Schools throughout northwestern Montana cancelled classes on Monday due to a strong winter storm.

Closures included schools in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Bigfork along with Libby, Eureka and Troy. Thompson Falls delayed the start of classes by 2 ½ hours.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for northwestern Montana until 11 p.m. Monday and a blizzard warning along the Flathead Range including West Glacier and Essex for Monday morning. Bigfork received 18 inches of snow in a 12-hour period ending at 5 a.m. Monday.

The Flathead Avalanche Center has issued a backcountry avalanche warning for the Whitefish, Swan and Flathead mountain ranges and southern Glacier National Park.

The state Department of Transportation says U.S. Highway 2 was closed southeast of West Glacier early Monday because the road was drifted in. Crews were working to clear the snow.

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