ANACONDA – Despite declaring a state of emergency this winter, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County has not seen the flooding expected this spring.
This winter was fairly regular in Anaconda until the end of February. That’s when an arctic blast arrived, covering the town in a matter of hours.
“It was the most we had seen in our community in that type of duration of time,” said Chief Executive Officer Bill Everett. “It came within a few days and truly the volumes were unheard of. It truly put our city to a screech and halt.”
Everett said the scary part is that the large snowfall doesn’t only cause problems in the winter; it causes problems in spring, as well.
“Unfortunately, the way that our town is laid out when the snow melts, it will basically flow through our community,” said Everett.
When the snow starts to thaw from west to east, it runs through Anaconda before ending up in Warm Springs Creek.
Fearing the worst, the county reached out to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Army Corps and received 50,000 sandbags and 500 super sacks.
“We have the sand, we have the sandbags, we have the super sacks,” said Public Works Director Chas Ariss. “We have our equipment. We are just gonna keep an eye on it, and with the cold days and the freezing nights, we have really lucked out in terms of just kinda stemming the pace of the run-off.”
Ariss and Everett are hoping the weather stays in the 40º-to-50º range so that the county doesn’t have to use the bags at all.
“If this weather continues how it is, we are going to be in fantastic shape, which is good,” said Everett. We have had enough turmoil with weather situations, so hopefully, it’s going to be a nice quiet spring.”
Everett said Silver-Bow County did reach out for help, and Anaconda will be sending 5,000 sandbags.