Weather Event Makes for a Busy Day for Our Department
Sunday May 31st started with a good sized weather event that tore through our area and left a path of destruction in its wake. Winds were clocked at 69 miles an hour in Kalispell and we may have seen higher winds in some areas. All around the county we saw trees down, power lines down and buildings that sustained damage. At Smith Valley Fire Department we had a total of 22 calls making for an extremely busy day for us. We received our first call at 08:15 and did not clear our last call until 22:36 (10:36 PM). Our calls consisted of:
- 16 Power line emergencies
- 3 Public service
- 1 Motor vehicle fire
- 1 Outside smoke investigation
- 1 ALS Medical
5 of our 22 calls were mutual aid calls into Kalispell to assist with the wide spread damage from the high winds that were sustained.
The longest call we had was for a power line down across Highway 2 requiring us to close down the roadway until Flathead Electric could get crews out to repair the line. Unfortunately with the volume of calls Flathead Electric was contending with this took some time even with this being one of the highest priority calls for them in the valley. We would like to take a moment and thank those of you that were patient with our small scale natural "disaster" and for being so accommodating about the needed detours. We understand that these kind of events are a inconvenience for everyone and appreciate the calm most of you had about the situation. At the same time we would like to remind you that for the safety of our crews, who are also your neighbors, that you please slow down when you see our crews out doing traffic control. There are many blind hills in our area and when we are slowing you down it is because there is a hazard ahead that you may not be able to see. We had numerous people blast past our crews as soon as they cleared the "Slow" signs only to be met with a road block on the other side of a blind hill. So please remember for your safety and ours please slow down when you see us working.