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Entries in Montana flooding (10)


Authorities warn of fast flowing rivers

Clark Fork River east of Missoula(MISSOULA)- Rivers continue to run high across the state, although cooler temperatures helped ease some of the runoff on Tuesday, with many of the rivers cresting and starting to drop. However, the National Weather Service warns the rivers, and streams, are continuing to run high and cold, with a lot of debris kicked loose by this week's storms. 

Rivers in the Northwest corner of the state continue to see the most runoff from the melting snowpack. Tuesday evening the National Weather Service extended the flood warning for the Flathead River at Columbia Falls, which crested at 14.4'. That's just above the newly-reset flood stage of 13.0', which had just been adjusted last week. 

NWS says the main stem of the Flathead should drop below the 13' flood stage by Wednesday afternoon. 

The Clark Fork River above Missoula continued to run high on Tuesday, but remains about 2-feet below flood stage. The Bitterroot was also running high but about 2-feet below flood stage near Victor. 


Residents on Kootenai warned of flooding

(LIBBY)- Residents who live along the Kootenai River below Libby Dam are being told they could see some flooding today, as heavy runoff from Canada continues to pour down the river.

The Kootenai has been running high for more than a week, as heavy rains in Southeast British Columbia have poured down the basin, swelling Lake Koocanusa to “full pool” conditions.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings Monday evening, with those warnings remaining in effect until 6:30 p.m. this evening. Hyrdologists say people living along the banks of the Kootenai will have flooding on some sections of their property.

Flood stage on the Kootenai below the dam is 27.5-feet and at 5 a.m. this morning the river was right at that flood stage.

The high water has already been causing problems downstream in Bonner’s Ferry.


Heavy rains next set of problems for parts of Montana

NWS graphic(MISSOULA)- The National Weather Service has issued flood watches today for Northwest Montana, and the Upper Clark Fork region saying heavy rain could cause some high water along streams through Thursday morning. 

The flood watch is in effect for all of Northwest Montana, including Lake County because of the flooding potential. Forecasters say the region could receive anywhere from half-an-inch to as much as 2-inches of rain during the next storm, which will transit across the state over the next couple of days. They warn the problems could be especially evident along the west slopes of the Mission Mountains, where small streams could rise rapidly with runoff. 

More problems are possible in the Upper Clark Fork, with NWS issueing a flood watch for Deerlodge and Silver Bow counties. Forecasters say Warm Springs Creek, Blacktail Creek and other small streams "could see dramatic rises in water levels which may lead to localized flooding."

Even outside the floodwatch areas, NWS believes there could be .5" to 1" of rain generated by this new storm.

And it's not just water. NWS says there could even be 1-to-2" of snow fall at higher elevations above 6000' along the Divide. 


River levels climb with warmer weather

(MISSOULA)- Temperatures climbing back into the 80s and even the 90s again Tuesday are expected to bring another rise in levels on some Western Montana rivers. But the potential for high water isn’t anywhere close to the flooding we experienced last year.

For the second time this spring, hydrologists are forecasting some rivers in the region will see snowmelt generating more high water by mid-week. As with the first warm spell a few weeks ago, most of that runoff is expected to impact only a few select rivers.

In Ravalli County, where the Bitterroot River had dropped to more normal conditions the past couple of weeks, water levels on the river, and some of the smaller streams could approach flood stage again by the middle of the week. The lower Bitterroot, as well as the Clark Fork at Missoula will see waters rise, but might not approach flood stage until Thursday or Friday. And even then the forecast is still a couple of feet lower than during last June’s flooding.

The same is true in Lincoln County, where the Yaak River may approach minor flood stage by the middle of the week. Other smaller streams like Lake and Libby Creeks could cause some flooding, although the often-problematic Fisher River is expected to stay within its banks.

In Flathead County, river forecasters believe the Middle Fork, North Fork and mainstream of the Flathead could approach flood stage later this week. But the forecast still has the river a foot below flood stage at Columbia Falls. 


Ice jam leads to flood watch on Jefferson River 

(THREE FORKS)- It’s still early in the winter season, but National Weather Service forecasters say an ice jam has formed on the Jefferson River near Three Forks, leading to the potential for some flooding along the river.

NWS has issued a flood watch for the Jefferson, saying there’s a potential for some flooding along the river either late Sunday night or early Monday morning in the Three Forks area. The flood watch means that “flooding is possible but no imminent”.

However, because ice jams are unpredictable, and can form and break up quickly, forecasters say people living along the river, or who plan any activities near the Jefferson should stay updated with the latest conditions and be prepared to take action if flooding develops or a flood warning is issued. 

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