Missoula area rivers to crest at lower than expected levels

Posted at 10:42 AM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 12:42:24-04

MISSOULA – The latest forecasts show that the Clark Fork River is expected to crest near Missoula at lower levels than originally expected.

The water levels on the Clark Fork River is currently rising at a much slower rate than previously predicted and the current forecasts predict it will remain in the moderate flood stage through the weekend and into next week.

The Bitterroot River near Missoula is currently at 11.01 feet, just above minor flood stage while the Blackfoot River near Bonner is predicted to reach minor flood stage and crest at 10.04 feet on Friday.

The most up-to-date river forecasts are available here.

Authorities caution that although the Clark Fork River is not currently predicted to reach major flood stage, conditions can change quickly. Residents are strongly encouraged to continue preparing to evacuate, if necessary.

All Missoula County residents should sign up for the Missoula County Smart911 alerts which is how emergency warnings and notices are communicated to those affected.

There’s been an increase in localized flooding from smaller streams and creeks in the Greenough/Potomac area as snowmelt continues, including on Elk Creek Road near Sunset Hill Road. Cramer Creek Road near Clinton has also experienced flooding.

Meanwhile, the water has started to recede in the Seeley Lake area, which previously saw localized flooding along Boy Scout Road, C Street, Cabin Lane, Deer Park Drive and Morrell Creek.

An evacuation order remains in effect for the following areas:

  • Tower Street, north of 3rd Street
  • Kehrwald Drive
  • Channel Drive
  • Nancy Lou Drive
  • Keck Street and Stone Street – north of Flamingo Drive
  • Schmidt Road
  • Off Mullan Road
  • South Harpers Bridge Road
  • Hamel Road
  • Under the Reserve Street Bridge

Due to danger from flooding conditions, residents under evacuation order are asked to vacate their property immediately. Affected residents should check in at the information trailer set up in the Wheat Montana parking lot on the corner of 3rd and Reserve streets.

Road Closures:

  • Tower Street closed to all traffic, north of 3rd Street
  • Nancy Lou Drive closed to all traffic
  • Stone Street north of Flamingo Drive closed to all traffic
  • Schmidt Road closed to all traffic
  • Harpers Bridge Road closed to all traffic
  • Hamel Road closed to all traffic
  • Short Street (and connectors) open to local traffic only
  • Preston Street (and connectors) open to local traffic only
  • Hiberta Street north of 3rd Street open to local traffic only
  • Stonybrook Drive open to local traffic only
  • River Road west of Reserve open to local traffic only

Sandbag Stations:

  • Fort Missoula – Volunteers can help fill sandbags from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check in with a Team Rubicon representative upon arrival. Volunteers must have current health insurance. The location is across the road from the Child Development Center, located at 3335 Lt. Moss Road.
  • Missoula County Detention Center – Sandbags can be picked up in the east parking lot, 2340 Mullan Road. Limited supply of filled sandbags are currently available, and assistance loading sandbags into vehicles is available from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Frenchtown Fire Station 1 – Self-fill sandbag station, filled and unfilled sandbags and sand are available at 16875 Marion Street in Frenchtown
  •  East Missoula Fire Department – Self-fill sandbag station, filled and unfilled sandbags and sand are available at 314 Montana Avenue.
  •  Seeley Lake – Sandbags can be obtained at the Seeley Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

Resources to purchase sand are limited. Monetary donations through United Way of Missoula County go toward purchasing sand. Sandbagging operations will continue depending on availability of sand, sandbags and volunteers.

Shelter Information:

  • American Red Cross shelters are on standby and ready to assist in Missoula and Seeley Lake. Residents seeking shelter should call 1-800-272-6668. Potable Water In addition to Missoula Water providing access to potable water (1345 W.