Power lines, fiber optic line, pipeline threatened by floodwater east of Missoula

Posted at 8:35 AM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 10:35:33-04

TURAH – Floodwater erosion continues to threaten infrastructure alongside the Clark Fork River near Turah.

Blackfoot fiber optic internet cables and numerous underground power lines have been exposed and damaged as a result of extreme floodwater erosion. 

"So there are a lot of utilities in that area…a Bonneville transmission line, as well as a pipeline that runs through that area. Blackfoot did have a cable — a fiber optic cable — that was exposed due to that kind of erosion," Type III Incident Command spokesman Mel Holtz said.

The US Amy Corps of Engineers and Missoula County responded to the area and conducted damage surveys while county workers also assisted cable and power companies with their repair efforts.

The County held an additional conference call with community organizations active in disaster relief late last week and have begun the discussion and preliminary planning for recovery efforts.

"So the recovery – planning is happening, there are organizations out there that are planning that the county is actively involved with that, to try and determine the recovery steps needed here," Holtz said.

Major levee repairs will begin on Monday.