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LARRY MAYER, Gazette Staff

Stretches of road along flat, treeless land in northern and eastern Musselshell County have become difficult to navigate and even impassable in some places due to accumulating snow drifts several feet high. 

Essential travel only is encouraged, said Musselshell County Road Department supervisor Tom Stockert.

"We realize you have to do what you've got to do, but just try to be smart about it," he said. "If it looks like it's going to be trouble, make some arrangements, stay home, be sensible about it."  

Drifts building along and on top of some roads have reached 7 feet in places, Stockert said. He encouraged people to pack emergency supplies and drive with tire chains. 

"If we've got open country out there you can't stop the snow from blowing," he said. "Instead of spending most of our day plowing roads, we've been getting people unstuck." 

In some instances, hours of plowing appeared to have been quickly erased by the wind and snow. "It's pretty disappointing," Stockert said. "This is just one of them old school winters that people haven't seen for a long time." 

If snow does begin to harden and crust over, crews should be able to make progress, Stockert said. 

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Night Reporter

General assignment reporter for The Billings Gazette.