Flooding continues to be a concern on rivers and streams across western and central Montana. In Missoula, evacuation orders are still in place for 65 homes, with warnings posted for an additional 2,200 more. But there’s at least a glimmer of good news for the Clark Fork River above Missoula.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Marty Whitmore said during a Missoulian Facebook live-stream Thursday that contrary to earlier predictions, the Clark Fork is not expected to reach major flood stage this weekend.
Temperatures will barely crack the mid 60's through Saturday.
“The projections have come down for the crest this weekend; below 13 feet here on the Clark Fork above the Missoula gage. Chances are it’s even going to come down a little more than that,” Whitmore says.
Missoula County Commissioners signed a flood-related disaster declaration Thursday. Emergency Management Director, Adriane Beck, says that declaration allows the county to apply for state aid.
"Our costs to date, we estimate those to be somewhere around $250,000 as far as the county resources or city resources that have been expended at this point by way of personnel hours and/or equipment, in addition to damage to public infrastructure."
Beck says several county roads have sustained flood-related damages, including those in the Clinton and Rock Creek areas.
Lake County Commissioners issued a similar disaster declaration on Monday.
The Musselshell River is experiencing major flooding in Wheatland County near Shawmut. Forecasters say flooding from the Sun River will surround the small community of Sun River west of Great Falls.
Warnings are also in effect for the Bitterroot River in southwestern Montana, the Yaak River in the northwest, the Blackfoot River near Lincoln, and Tenmile Creek near Helena.