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Red Lodge dealing with aftermath of historic snowfall
By Charlie Klepps,
RED LODGE - Record-breaking snowfall hit the mountain town of Red Lodge over the weekend, and residents spent most of Monday morning dealing with the aftermath.
Nearly four feet fell in town and more than 50 inches covered Red Lodge Mountain after two consecutive days of nonstop snowfall.
And while residents in Red Lodge are typically used to snow, this storm hit another level. Vehicles were buried, and snow piled up to the height of some stop signs.
The storm came just in time for the first day of spring break, so Aiden Freeman and his younger sister Brennan Freeman were busy digging their vehicles out of snow with their mom.
"It's insane," Aiden said. "There's just so much snow."
"You look around and there's like snow over people's windows," Brennan said. "It's just crazy."
And there were many residents who spent their Monday morning doing the exact same thing. Jodon Phillips was born in raised in Red Lodge, and he said he's never seen a snowstorm like the one over the weekend.
"It seems to be the quickest overnight dump it's done since I've been home," Phillips said. "The snow was almost gone, and now we've got a whole year's worth of it in a couple days."
Phillips' roommate, Kyle Archbold, moved to Red Lodge in 2015. When MTN spoke with them, they had finally managed to get their vehicle moving and out from under the heavy snow.
"The snow started at about 7:30 Friday evening and it just didn't stop," Archbold said. "I really have never seen anything like it."
Chris Mould said he had to walk to work on Sunday because his cars were so buried. On Monday, he was starting to make progress toward getting one unstuck.
"It's almost too much, but I mean if you like snow, you know where to be," Mould said. "There's too much snow and nowhere to put it."
The snow fell so quickly that Red Lodge Mountain couldn't even keep up. Ski races that had been scheduled for Saturday and Sunday were actually canceled because they couldn't groom the snow fast enough.
"I was supposed to be competing in that race," Brennan Freeman said. "When I woke up on Saturday, my mom came and told me it was canceled because it had so much snow. And that was kind of shocking to me because, you know, snow is good for skiing."
Businesses downtown were also affected by the snowfall. Some were impossible to reach by sidewalk, and others like the Montana Candy Emporium had a tunnel leading into its front door.
But there is strength in solidarity, and one thing is certain. Nobody in Red Lodge was stuck digging out their homes or vehicles alone.
"Everyone here is really caring and everyone wants to help each other out," Aiden said.
"It's definitely a community," Brennan said. "You see people walking up to other people's houses with shovels wanting to help. It's good to see that people want to help each other."
And with even more snow in the forecast for later this week, it's a town already preparing for whatever comes next.
"There's definitely going to be more to shovel," Archbold said. "That's for sure. And I hear we're getting more on Thursday, so here we go again."
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