HELENA (AP) - As roads were reopened and restrictions lifted, people in parts of Montana were digging out Sunday from deep snow as the National Weather Service predicted more was on the way.
On Saturday travelers in parts of the state were stranded after some highways, including Interstate 90 east of Billings, were closed. Sunday, the Highway Patrol said the roads were reopened and they were clearing up a number of minor traffic crashes.
The Highway Patrol reported a few dozen minor crashes Sunday, down from roughly 100 on Saturday when cars were sliding off snow-covered roads across the state.
There were no fatal crashes Saturday or through Sunday evening, authorites said.
The snow, which piled up to about five feet in places, was welcome news for drought-ravaged farmers.
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National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Dittmann said it was exactly what was needed by dryland farmers and ranchers, with snow amounts the heaviest in years.
He said the storm was widespread and delivered a powerful, wet punch to much of Montana's parched countryside.
Snow amounts from the weekend storm ranged from three inches at Great Falls to a high of 50 inches at Shonkin, south of Fort Benton and just north of the Highwood Mountains. Hobson reported 36 inches, with 20 inches at Lewistown, where drifts were up to three feet.
Near Bozeman, Bridger Bowl closed Saturday because of exceptionally heavy snow and opened later than normal Sunday as crews worked to alleviate avalanche danger.
The ski area's snow report showed 71 inches of new snow since Friday.
And more is on the way, the National Weather Service predicted Sunday.
By Monday morning, a low pressure system was expected to arrive in western Montana, bringing with it the chance for more snow.
The National Weather Service said it was extending the winter weather warning through Monday. The agency advised motorists to expect the worst.