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Snow storm swoops into Bozeman

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Nov 09 2012 12:14:19 PM MST

Southwest Montana is digging out after getting pounded by an arctic invasion. Commuters faced slick conditions on their morning drive.  And street crews are working to keep up with the snow that’s been falling. 

BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Some call it Brutus. We call it the Arctic Invasion.

But whatever the name, the first major snow storm of the season made it's move into southwest Montana early Friday morning- and it had no mercy.

The scene early Friday was a dramatic difference from Thursday night. Most went to bed seeing no snow on the ground.

The next morning, the area transformed into a winter wonderland. More than six inches fell in Bozeman. In other places like Manhattan, there were reports of 14.

Plows were out all morning, rushing to clear streets before morning traffic. Trucks sprayed sand to keep cars from slipping.

"The side streets are pretty deep" said Bozeman resident Jeffrey Gonzales, who drove to the Greyhound station at 4 am to pick up his son. "Getting out of my parking lot was a trip."

Overall, he said the early-morning road conditions weren't too bad.

But when daylight hit and people started hitting the road, the winter wonderland wasn't so wonderful.

Montana Highway Patrol says it's been one of their busiest days. Between 4 and 10 am they've responded to 27 incidents in the Gallatin Valley area.

Though many incidents were minor- slide-offs, fender benders and stranded vehicles- MHP says they responded to 3 jack-knifed semis and a few school buses that slid off the road.

Sergeant Pat McCarthy said the rush of accidents calmed down by mid-morning. And despite the high number of incidents, he said the low severity meant drivers were slowing down and taking their time.