The National Weather Service sent out fair warning early last week that high winds were on their way to pummel northcentral Montana and they weren’t wrong. Wednesday, Jan. 13, started out calm and unseasonably warm for January, but by noon that had changed and by 1 p.m. semis were being blown over on their sides, shingles, trampolines and anything else not nailed down was riding the wind that had reported gusts exceeding 120 mph in some areas.
Power was lost in many areas throughout the state as the wind took down wires and power poles. Shelby residents were not immune to the hurricane gusts but did not lose power as neighboring areas, such as Chester and other outlying areas, did. Damage was done, as houses and businesses lost portions of their roofs and vehicles and buildings were damaged by flying debris, but not as much damage as one might have thought.
“I expected to have a lot more calls by the end of the week,” said Mountain Front Agency owner/agent Ashley Vanek of Cut Bank. “But it was not as extreme as I thought it would be.”
Vanek did note that it’s not too late to call in a claim if someone does notice damage that occurred during last Wednesday’s storm.
Leavitt Insurance Group agents Travis Clark and Wilma Steiner didn’t have the call volume they expected following Wednesday’s high winds either.
“It’s been a bit busier than normal,” said Clark. “But it hasn’t been crazy.”
All in all, last Wednesday’s wind didn’t wreak as much havoc as one would have thought, but for those who did end up with damage it’s reassuring to know that local insurance agents are standing by, ready to help file your claim.