Montanans readjust to icy conditions

Rockhand Ace Hardware Floor Manager Steve Edwards picks up a bag of rock salt Tuesday

Western Montanans are still looking at below average temperatures for the rest of this week and drivers are readjusting to the icy conditions.

National Weather Service meteorologist Zach Uttech says this is really the first weather system of the season bringing pervasive icy conditions.

“Where the ice would maybe persist for several days or a week especially in the mountain passes before we can get a warm-up to come in,” Uttech said.

Uttech says the snow that fell throughout many parts of Western Montana has moved up North into Canada. The low temperatures, though, will stick around.

“Yeah, it looks like it’s gonna be well below average at least through Saturday,” Uttech said.

Some places 20 degrees below normal or more. Uttech reminds drivers to especially watch for icy conditions on bridges, passes and shady areas.

Floor manager over at Helena’s Rockhand Ace Hardware Steve Edwards says he’s glad the area is getting the moisture.

“You know with the dryness that we’ve had all Summer long,” he said. “Perfect time, the precipitation’s supposed to be coming down all week, hopefully.”

Also, that quick change in weather brings in the customers.

“Great for business,” Edwards said.

The store’s been selling plenty of snow shovels and ice scrapers over the last day. He walks over and grabs a 20 pound bag of rock salt from a stack of hundreds. Customers are buying these up too.

“Probably about 50 bags (in the last day) but that’s still a far cry from the 500 a month that we’ll sell in the middle of the wintertime,” he said.

One of many hot items for the cold months ahead.

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