Clark Fork River in Missoula returns to moderate flood stage

Posted at 10:17 AM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 12:17:03-04

MISSOULA – Missoula County Search and Rescue crews are continuing to check out structures that experienced flooding in the Orchard Homes area along the Clark Fork River.

The team is looking at high water marks and other indicators to begin the initial damage assessment required for homes in the floodplain.

Authorities add that crews will start assessing other areas impacted by flooding in the Missoula area over the next few weeks, including homes along Harpers Bridge Road and Mallard Way.

Residents with homes affected by overland flooding can call the floodplain administrator (406) 258-4841 to request an assessment.

The water level on the Clark Fork River above Missoula rose to roughly 11 feet on Thursday morning, moving the river into moderate flood stage. The current forecasts predict the water will continue to rise and will remain in moderate flood stage for the rest of the week.

The river is expected to crest at 11.55 feet on Monday morning., The most up-to-date river forecasts are available here. Officials say that although the Clark Fork River is not currently predicted to reach major flood stage this week, conditions can change quickly, and snowpack levels remain high.

Residents in flood-prone areas should remain alert to changes in conditions and are urged to sign up for Smart 911 alerts to receive emergency notifications. Anyone affected by flooding can request assistance by filling out the request for disaster assistance form online

Affected residents can return to their homes and will not need to check in and out at roadblocks, but should not re-inhabit the property or start the recovery process. Authorities add that the roadblocks will be re-established as conditions warrant.

The public is also being advised to avoid flooded areas altogether and residents should photograph and report hazards using the online form here. The Clark Fork River remains closed from the Reserve Street Bridge to Kona Bridge due to dangers caused by downed power lines in the river and high water levels full of hazardous debris.

Approximately 65 homes in Missoula County are still under modified evacuation orders. A flood information line at (406) 258-INFO is being staffed from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Callers will hear an updated recording after hours.

A modified 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

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 

Missoula County has set up a sandbagging station and central resources hub at the following locations:

  • Fort Missoula – As Team Rubicon has reached its goals for this operation, it is no longer managing the volunteer sandbagging efforts at Fort Missoula and does not need volunteers at this time. Residents looking for sandbags can obtain the remaining sandbags filled by volunteers at 3335 Lt. Moss Road (in the field).
  • 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.