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Heavy snow dump takes down trees, power lines

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: May 23 2013 05:56:16 PM MDT
Updated On: May 23 2013 06:19:11 PM MDT
ANACONDA, Mont. -

Folks at Anaconda Motors spent the morning clearing out snow.

"We have hot water outside, so that helps. We just get the hose out, wet it down and shovel it," says Anaconda Motors employee Mike Rosenleaf.

Rosenleaf brushes away snow threatening to pour off the roof. He says it's the heaviest snow he has seen all year and he knows that often means downed power lines.

"I got up in the middle of the night and the power was out, so I looked out the window. I knew at about 1:30 what I was waking up to," explains Rosenleaf.

Josh Blaz didn't find out until 6:30 when he got up to go to work. He was only there a few hours before the power went out and his boss sent him home for the day.

He says it ruins his day, "Especially when we have $10,000 orders that are supposed to be put out by Tuesday, after Memorial Day. Now it's going to get pushed back by a few days," says Blaz.

Blaz says he'll make up the hours next week, but for now he's looking forward to a long weekend.

"I'm going snowmobiling tomorrow," smiles Blaz.

Leslie McQuiston chops down branches for a neighbor. He's one of many residents dealing with downed limbs.

Anaconda Police say they've been busy. They say they have received 20 calls for down power lines and another eight to 10 for downed limbs and trees. Now, they're keeping a close eye on water levels as the snow quickly melts.

"We got Northwestern Energy out, road department's out clearing trees and the parks department," says Anaconda Chief Tim Barkell.

Barkell took me to Warm Springs Creek. He tells me he thinks the banks can handle the steady influx of snow melt.

"If we need sandbagging or anything like that, the police department, fire department, road department, search and rescue will all lend a hand," explains Barkell.

Despite the extra work it causes, Barkell tells NBC Montana it's much needed moisture, and folks like Rosenleaf agree.

"It's no good for sales but we need the moisture," laughs Rosenleaf.

Barkell tells us all power was restored by early afternoon.