State and local plow crews prepare for first snow of the season

Posted at 5:46 PM, Oct 21, 2022

HELENA — The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) says it's ready to help clear the snow from this first snowstorm of the season. State and local plow crews are closely following the forecast and are ready to respond, says Jenny Chambers, the Director of Lewis and Clark County Public Works.

"We're fully staffed within our equipment operators within the road, bridge, and shop staff. We don't anticipate that we're gonna have any issues with coverage within the area," Chambers said.

Lewis and Clark County Public works have their fleet of 14 snow plows out and MDT has more than 600 plows on standby across the state.

"We have our fleet of snowplows out into the different respective regions. We break out the large geographical county into about 10 or 12 different districts and our snowplow operators are ready to go if we get snow this weekend in anticipation of that event," said Chambers.

Higher elevation areas, including mountain passes, could see significant snow. Drivers should be alert for plows working to keep driving and passing lanes clear.

MDT asks the driver to stay at least five car lengths back from working plows and the Lewis and Clark County teams echoed that advice.

"From Lewis and Clark County, public works some general reminders we have for folks is don't crowd the snow plows and don't pass. Often times the driver or the equipment operator will see traffic backing up, and they'll find a safe place to pull over and let traffic go as available as needed," said Chambers.

During a significant winter storm across the state, Montana's Department of Transportation plows combined travel is enough to circle the earth twice.

For updated road conditions across the state check out MDT's Traveler Information Page.