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Hamilton welcomes Western Class B Basketball Tournament in blizzard conditions

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Feb 28 2014 05:30:22 PM MST

Players and fans negotiate snow and bad roads.

The Bitterroot digs out from another snowfall.

HAMILTON, Mont. -

The Bitterroot got another dose of snow.

There are reports of 3-and-a-half inches falling in Hamilton.

It wasn't as dramatic as the snowfall that dumped on the valley earlier this week.

But the bad weather comes as Hamilton welcomes players and fans for the Western Class B Girls and Boys High School Basketball Tournament.

It was slow going all day Friday.

Jim Nau got to work on time for his late shift at a Hamilton grocery store.

But he had to leave early from his home in Stevensville.

"I backed out my driveway into freezing rain," said Nau.

Plows scraped parking lots so businesses could open to greet customers in the early morning.

Joe Johnson came to work an hour early to get the parking lot and business vehicles ready for the day.

His family runs a home appliance repair business in Hamilton.

They have to maneuver bad roads all day.

Appliances break down.

"They break no matter the weather," said Johnson,"it's a matter of getting in and out of their driveway. That's the hard part, fixing the appliances is no problem," he said.

Jim Peterson filled his gas tank before the sun was up.

"Gassing up and getting a few groceries because we got blizzard conditions," said  Peterson,""I want to be ready for it."

There is lots of traffic on the roads.

The high school basketball tournament has attracted people from all over.

Mike Grey is from Deer Lodge.

He drives bus for the Powell County Wardens Boys basketball team.

Grey has been driving bad roads all season.

"The roads are very slick," he said,"With the snow and the winds starting to come up it's going to be very dangerous."

It is tournament time on a wintry Montana weekend.