The most urgent needs are for food and firewood. Semi-trucks filled with long pine logs are delivered which volunteers then cut, split and deliver to homes in remote locations on the Blackfeet Nation. Photo courtesy of Whitefish United Methodist Church.
The snow was 70 to 80 inches high on Feb. 1 in northwestern Montana, home to the Blackfeet Nation. Now it’s up to 240 inches and that’s not even the worst part, said the Rev. Calvin Hill, pastor of the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish in Browning, Montana.
“It’s not the inches; it is the 70 to 80 miles-per-hour wind gusts that moves that soft snow into 16 to 20 foot drifts. You can plow the roads, but an hour later they will be filled up again,” he said, in an interview with United Methodist News Service.
The Rev. Dawn Maurer Skerritt, Yellowstone Conference disaster response coordinator, said that sometimes the winds could get up to hurricane-force at 115 miles per hour.
“Snow can bury houses,” she said. “We ask for prayers for the ministry and safety for folks responding.”
The Blackfeet Tribal Council issued a state of emergency and asked for help from The United Methodist Church through the United Methodist Committee on Relief.