HELENA - Helena was hit by a destructive storm system Sunday evening that downed trees and caused significant flooding in the downtown area.
Pictures and video provided by Helena resident Andy Shirtliff showed water rushing down Last Chance Gulch up to the top of wheel wells on cars as people held doors shut tight on businesses to limit water coming into establishments.
The Lewis and Clark Library saw flooding in their building. Maintenance teams were quick to get to work removing the water. Dave Schulte told MTN that their priority is to get the moisture out of the building and get the air dried out as soon as possible to avoid mold retention. Damages to the library and the collection are still being assessed.
Downed trees and limbs could be seen throughout downtown. One tree fell through the bus stop at the Great Northern Center.
Moviegoers at the Helena Cinemark report the movie theater being evacuated, with water draining into the lobby area. Some vehicles were also initially stranded in the lower level of the Great Northern Parking Garage.
Several streets in the Capitol area saw rapid flooding with a number of homeowners reporting basement flooding to MTN.
A-1 Rentals will open their doors on Monday, July 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for items needed for flooding. They have pumps, dehumidifiers, fans and floor dryers available. Staff says these items are limited but want to make sure Helena has access to these items before Tuesday. They also ask that people not try to rent or return other equipment items on Monday, July 4.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional flooding information.