Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Freezing rain Wednesday morning followed by steady snow and gusty winds created some problems in Havre and north-central Montana Wednesday, including at least one serious crash south of Fort Belknap. Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Mark Bosch said this morning two people were transported to the hospital Wednesday after a tractor-trailer pulling a propane tank and a secondary “pup” unit rear-ended a suburban utility vehicle, which was stopped in the southbound lane of Montana Highway 66. The incident is still under investigation, and more details about the people involved were not available this morning. Bosch said ice and blowing snow causing a lack of visibility may have contributed to the crash. Highway Patrol Capt. Brad Sangray said his office was not called to investigate many other crashes, although he heard about multiple vehicles ending up in the ditch, especially east of Chinook. The National Weather Service forecast partly sunny conditions for Havre today and Friday, with a high of 29 today and 39 Friday. The forecast calls for highs in the upper 20s and 30s through Monday, with a chance of snow Friday night and Saturday. Wednesday’s weather impacted travel in and out of towns, caused some schools to close early and slightly delayed the District 9-C basketball tournament being hosted in Havre. Turner players had to find alternate travel to reach a delayed basketball game with a disappointing results. The girls varsity team ended up in the ditch when wind pushed their bus off the icy highway. District Clerk Cindy Cowan said parents traveling to the game picked up the members of the team and brought them to Havre, where they lost 15-72 to North Star High School in a game delayed for their arrival. Cowan said the boys team was also brought by car instead of bus. It also lost its first game, 53-58, to Box Elder. Because of the weather, the Turner teams stayed in Havre last night, Cowan added. The girls team faced Hays-Lodge Pole this morning, while the boys team will play again Friday. Turner schools closed early Wednesday, but were back in operation this morning. That was apparently the only team with significant problems getting to the tournament, although the weather Impacted other schools’ travel to the tournament and operations in general and other teams reported they decided to spend the night in Havre instead of returning home as planned. “Up here we ended up with about six inches of snow and the winds were blowing about 30 miles per hour,” said Rocky Boy Principal Jim Capps. “It was a tough day for us.” Rocky Boy schools closed early, getting kids on buses by about 12:30 p.m., and cancelled it’s pep buses that were scheduled to take fans to the District 9-C tournament in Havre yesterday. Capps said the people planning to take the pep bus were probably the only people who lost out most fans and family members did come in to watch Rocky Boy defeat Hays-Lodge Pole 76-28. Many other schools reported closing early Wednesday due to the weather, but, like Rocky Boy and Turner, were back in operation today, including Box Elder, Harlem, Big Sandy and Chinook. In Havre, snow and blowing snow on top of a sheet of ice left by freezing rain caused a high level of activity at the Havre Police Department, as two- or three-vehicle crashes occurred around town. The department reported its officers were already out investigating crashes again this morning. By Wednesday afternoon, MDT had restricted travel on U.S. Highway 2 from Chinook to Malta to emergency only, as it did for roads north of Havre inlcuding Montana Highway 232. It also closed U.S. Highway 191 southwest of Malta and Montana Highway 66 south of Chinook. Other roads in the area were generally listed as snowpacked or icy, with wind and low visibility warnings on some sections of highway. The MDT Web site this morning listed most roads in the area as icy or intermittently icy or intermittently icy.