Montana Public Radio

Missoula Flood Watch Goes Into Effect Tuesday

May 10, 2019

A slice of west Missoula will be under a flood watch from Tuesday morning until further notice.

Missoula temperatures are expected to hit the high 70s next week as the Clark Fork swells with snowmelt.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Kitsmiller says residents near Kehrwald Drive and the north end of Tower Street should prepare their homes in advance.

“I’m sure most of those people already have their sandbags ready. But if they don’t, right now and through the weekend is the time to get them set and try to redirect that water around their house," he says.

Those who don’t live in that area are advised to steer clear during the flood watch, which means the Clark Fork is expected to rise above 7.5 feet.

That minor flood stage was previously 10 feet, but the Weather Service re-evaluated the measure this year, possibly because a shifting river channel is directing water to new areas.

“After the fairly historic flood last year we found that the flooding was occurring down in the lower elevation parts near the river, some of the neighborhoods. It was lower than it normally would be," Kitsmiller says.

Missoula also saw some minor flooding a few weeks ago.