Bullock declares emergency for trio of reservations

Freezing weather and feet of snow, combined with strong winds in the parts of the state, led to a state of emergency declaration yesterday afternoon.

The declaration covers the Blackfeet, Fort Belknap, and Northern Cheyenne reservations, as well as Glacier and Golden Valley Counties.

Governor Steve Bullock said that safety and security is a top priority.

Residents of the Blackfeet reservation just east of Glacier National Park have been struggling all month with loose snow and strong winds causing huge drifts that have shut down travel at times, closed schools and made it difficult to get food and other supplies to the area.

The Department of Transportation is also making available as many resources as possible, including equipment and mechanics.

A semi-load of food and two shipments of firewood have been donated and are available for distribution by the Blackfeet Tribe.

At Fort Belknap, officials have opened an Incident Command System and are assisting with hay donations, warming shelters, and firewood.

Governor Bullock also issued an executive order for an extension of hours of operation for fuel delivery statewide, to ensure that needed fuel can be made available to Northwestern Montana.