Montana Public Radio

Clark Fork River

The Clark Fork River above flood stage in Missoula, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham

Flood waters remain a concern across Montana today and into next week.

A levee on the Clark Fork River near Turah, MT eroded by floodwater, May 20, 2018.
Inciweb

Missoula’s historic flood season is still going strong, but the worst of it may be over.

First, the good news as delivered Monday by Missoula National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Kitzmiller.

Volunteers fill sandbags at Fort Missoula, May 15, 2018 in Missoula, MT.
Olivia Sears

Flooding on some western Montana rivers slowed early this week, but warming temperatures mean more flooding is on the way.

Remediation work at the Milltown Reservoir Superfund Site in 2008, Bonner Montana.
M. Kustudia (CC-BY-SA-3)

This spring Missoula celebrated the 10th anniversary of the removal of the Milltown Dam on the Clark Fork river east of town. Now, some people are saying that the old dam could have mitigated some of this year’s flooding.

A sign at the flood information trailer in Missoula, MT, May 11, 2018.
Josh Burnham

The Clark Fork River above Missoula today receded by over two feet from Friday night’s high of 13.82 feet; its highest crest since 1908. But that doesn't mean the worst of the flooding is behind us.

"Even though the rivers have gone down now, lets not be complacent cause they’re going to be headed right back up Thursday through Saturday,” says National Weather Service Meteorologist Bob Nester.

Flooding on the Clark Fork River near East Missoula.
East Missoula Rural Fire Department

The flooding Clark Fork River at Missoula is forecast  to hit just over 14 feet by tomorrow afternoon. It’s then expected to settle down - but not for long.

Fourteen feet is territory not seen on the Clark Fork in over 40 years. The raging river has already prompted mandatory evacuations for about 60 homes.

Clark Fork River in Missoula, May 9, 2018.
Josh Burnham

Update: 9:25 p.m. 

New evacuations due to flooding have been ordered near Missoula tonight. According to a post from the Missoula County Sheriffs Office, "three homes on Harper’s Bridge Road are now under an evacuation order, while 10 additional homes on Harper’s Bridge Road have been put in evacuation warning. A road block has been established on Harper’s Bridge Road and Lavoie."

Smurfit-Stone Container mill outside Frenchtown, Montana.
Djembayz (CC-BY-SA-3)

The Clark Fork River at Missoula has reached major flood stage at 13 feet. This is exacerbating longstanding concerns over environmental contamination at the Smurfit-Stone Mill, and putting homeless people camped near the river at risk.

Students fill sandbags in Missoula's flooded Orchard Homes area, Monday, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham

Cooler, wet weather is expected to start moving into Montana. MTPR's Edward O’Brien has more on how this could factor into the state’s unfolding flood crisis.

Water from the Clark Fork River floods onto Tower Street in Missoula, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Update: 6:15 p.m. This post will be updated throughout the day as news develops.

A mandatory evacuation order issued today in Missoula affects all Orchard Home-area residences on Missoula’s Tower Street to the North of 3rd Street.

That includes  Kehrwald, Channel Drive, Nancy Lou, Keck Street, and Stone Street to the North of its intersection at Flamingo Drive.

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