KALISPELL - Recent weather patterns have contributed to high water levels and potential flooding conditions in low-lying areas across Flathead Valley.
Officials are cautioning that high river levels cause fast-flowing currents, unpredictable conditions, and very cold water with large amounts of debris.
The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and Office of Emergency Services are urging people to practice safety while recreating this Father’s Day weekend.
“The warm weather draws people outside, but it’s important to remember that the rivers are moving fast and carrying a lot of debris,” said Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino. “We encourage residents to make the safe choice and avoid recreating on the rivers until conditions improve.”
Flathead County declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, due to anticipated and current flooding.
The following information regarding the flooding incident is current as of June 17, 2022, at 11 a.m.
Official evacuation notices are in effect for the following areas:
- Leisure Road, Kalispell
- North Hill Top Road, Columbia Falls
Additional road closures remain in effect:
- West Side Hungry Horse Reservoir Road between Mazie Creek and Graves Creek Road
- All main open roads that access the main block of Stillwater State Forest. This includes the Lower Whitefish Road accessed via East Lakeshore Dr. from Whitefish, Upper Whitefish Road accessed from Olney and the 900/Mount Marston Road accessed from Stryker, MT. This includes the Upper Whitefish Lake Campground.
Evacuations have been lifted in the following areas and roads are open to resident traffic only:
- Rabe Road, Columbia Falls
- Lake Drive and Bailey Lake Area in Columbia Falls
- Blankenship Road
Sandbag fill stations are available to the community in the following locations:
- Columbia Falls City Shop, 700 9th Ave W
- Applied Materials Parking Lot (Old Shopko)
- Echo Lake Fire Hall, 735 Echo Lake Road
- Whitefish – The Snow Lot. Corner of Railway Street and Columbia Ave
The Flathead County Office of Emergency Services — in coordination with others — is looking to develop a list of people who have pastures that can help to accommodate displaced livestock. Any facilities that could house livestock would also be appreciated. Pastures or facilities will need to be located in areas that are out of potential flood areas and on higher ground. The expectation is that the livestock owners would be responsible for caring for their own animals. People who can help, can follow the link below and fill out the form at https://fcoes.formstack.com/forms/livestock_resources
The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office has established an information line at 406-758-2111. Due to the rapidly changing situation, the most current source of information will continue to be the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
MTN stations across the state are raising money to support our neighbors affected by this devastation. With the help of the Scripps Howard Foundation, you can make a contribution that will go to those in need. Click here to learn more.