MISSOULA – The Clark Fork River crested at the second highest level in Missoula’s history over the weekend. While the water levels have dropped in the area since then, Missoula could see major flood levels strike again by the end of the week.
“We are reminding people that we have a small lull here but the prediction is that we will be going back up to levels that we saw last week and that would be at or slightly above what we just saw," Incident Command Team spokesman Mel Holtz said. "So we are asking that people continue to prepare, don’t get complacent at this slow period here because we are going right back up to those levels.”
Since the water levels have dropped some residents have been asking to go back into their homes for a variety of reasons. The Sheriff’s Office is hoping to be as accommodating as possible and asks that residents check in with officials before going back to homes under evacuation.
“One of the things that we have done is at each of the roadblocks in the closed area, were just having folks if they want to go check out their property to stop in and log them in get cell phone numbers," Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Captain Anthony Rio said. "Figure out how long people are wanting to be in and then get them back out in a timely manner so we can keep track.”
Authorities say residents will have the opportunity to visit homes until around Thursday when flood waters are expected to rise again.
Meanwhile, the Clark Fork River has been closed from the Reserve Street Bridge to the Kona Bridge has been closed due to dangers from downed power lines and high water levels. Fishing access sites have been closed to the public
“We’re working with Fish, Wildlife and Parks we do currently have a closure on the access sites, fishing access sites, that are in the Missoula area and due to this hazard. We are in communication with them now about expanding that closure." Holtz said.