Ravalli County residents urged to prepare for flooding

Posted at 10:46 AM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 18:58:51-05
Recent winter storms and the growing snowpack has authorities in the Bitterroot urging residents to get ready now for potential flooding. (MTN News photo)

HAMILTON – Recent winter storms and the growing snowpack has authorities in the Bitterroot urging residents to get ready now for potential flooding.

Ravalli County officials say that as the snow begins to melt minor flooding may occur across the valley — including areas adjacent to and downstream from irrigation ditches and canals, fishing access locations, culverts, bridges, small creeks and streams, and areas in which debris and/or ice has built up.

Ravalli County residents and property owners should be aware of the situation and the potential for flooding.

Anyone who has experienced flooding problems in the past should prepare now by assessing their own risks and taking appropriate actions to mitigate any effects of the high water.

Sandbags can be placed at appropriate areas around properties or residences as a way to try to keep water at bay.

Sand and sandbags will be available to Ravalli County residents at the following locations:

  • Corvallis Fire, Station #2 at mile marker 9 on Eastside Highway, southeast corner of the station building
  • Three Mile Fire, Station #1, 1064 Three Mile Crk Road, northwest corner of the parking lot
  • Victor Fire, new station building at 2383 Meridian Road in Victor
  • Stevensville Fire, Westside Station at the Stevensville Wye behind Subway

Sandbags should only be placed to protect structures and must not be used to divert water onto other properties. Do not place sandbags, boards or other obstructions or diversions in irrigation ditches or canals.

People are also urged to stay clear of these areas and do not park vehicles near the ditches or on access roads.

Anyone with questions regarding wells or septic tanks can contact the Ravalli County Environmental Health Department at (406) 375-6565.

Below are some additional safety messages to keep in mind:

  • Do not approach areas of high water and flooding, including fishing accesses, area streams, ditches, and the Bitterroot River.
  • Ensure the safety of your children and animals by keeping them away from hazardous areas.
  • Do not enter or cross flowing water or water of unknown depth.
  • Observe any road closures or detours- they are in place for your safety.
  • Roadway hazards or flooding may be reported to the Ravalli County Road Department at (406) 363-2733 or the Ravalli County 911 Center at (406) 363-3033.
  • Dial 911 for life-threatening emergencies.

The Ravalli County Office of Emergency Management is monitoring the situation and coordinating response efforts with the Ravalli County Road Department, local fire districts, and other local, state and federal partners.

The Ravalli County Office of Emergency Management may be contacted for further information during normal business hours at (406) 375-6655.