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'Treacherous': Wind gusts predicted to reach 70 mph this weekend in Big Timber area

Wind warning outside of Columbus
Posted at 4:01 PM, Feb 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-24 18:07:51-05

BIG TIMBER — If you’re traveling west from Billings this weekend, be warned. The National Weather Service is predicting 60-70 mph wind gusts through Monday, centered in the Big Timber and Livingston area.

In Big Timber, residents are used to the wind.

"It’s always windy here,” said Craig Buckner, an employee at The Fort in Big Timber, on Saturday. “We try to avoid using the ‘W’ word as often as possible."

But this weekend is a bit of a different story.

"At 5:30 this morning it was really blowing," Buckner said. "It’s really treacherous."

Buckner lives in Reed Point but commutes to Big Timber for his job at The Fort, a convenience shopping center and gas station in town. He sees dozens of travelers stop in throughout the day—and noticed this weekend, they're a bit weary.

Craig Buckner
Craig Buckner

"A lot of paranoid people. Everybody’s just nervous about it,” Buckner said. "A lot of the single ladies are running in here and they’re just terrified.”

But visitors, like Kaleb Jones, aren’t letting the wind stop them from enjoying their weekend.

"I’m out here fishing with the boys on a lovely Saturday,” Jones said. “Big Timber’s a lovely place. Come explore downtown. There’s some good restaurants here and some nice people. So get out there."

Kaleb Jones
Kaleb Jones

Jones was visiting from Bozeman with his friends.

"My hair is all in my face. But that (isn't going to) stop us from enjoying a lovely day of fishing," said Jones.

Wind warning outside of Columbus
Wind warning outside of Columbus

If you plan on traveling in the Big Timber and Livingston area this weekend, be cautious:

"Stay off your phones guys," Jones said. "Don’t speed."

"If there’s any questions, call the 511 (road condition report number)," Buckner said. "Always slow down. It’s the only thing you can really do to help you in these kind of wind conditions. And if you’re paranoid, get off the road. It’s not going to go away."

To learn more about this weekend's weather forecast, click here.