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flooding

Cottonwoods: Born From The Floods

Jun 24, 2019
Cottonwoods line a flood plain on Rock Creek near Missoula.
Josh Burnham

I’ve just started noticing cottonwood seeds in the air again — the bits of white fluff that bounce around on the breeze. It seems impossible that big, beautiful cottonwood trees can grow from such insubstantial beginnings.

A flood warning is in effect for parts of west Missoula.
National Weather Service Missoula

A flood watch predicted late last week for a portion of Missoula was upgraded to a warning Monday.

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

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.

Flooding in Missoula along the north end of Tower Street, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

The Clark Fork River above Missoula tipped just above flood stage this week. The National Weather Service says it reached 7.6 feet Monday. Minor flood stage is 7.5 feet.

A 60-mile stretch of Interstate 90 in eastern Montana reopened Tuesday afternoon although water remains on the highway in some areas.

The Montana Department of Transportation says one lane is open in both directions.

Flooding concerns continue in southeastern Montana due to rapid snowmelt and ice jams.
National Weather Service - Billings

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Flooding shut down a long stretch of Interstate 90 and covered other roadways across Montana on Monday with the still-frozen ground unable to absorb the rapidly melting snow and ice jams causing water to spill over river banks.

A line of Montana legislators at the U.S. State Department-hosted town hall meeting in Kalispell on March 20, 2019.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

More than 200 people Wednesday night came to a U.S. State Department-hosted town hall meeting in Kalispell meant to inform federal negotiations that could shape the future of an international watershed roughly the size of Texas.

Temperatures will be slowly increasing in the Northern Rockies, starting this Friday and lasting through the first half of next week, with highs reaching the upper 40s to low 50s across much of north central Idaho and western Montana. March 13, 2019.
NWS Missoula

While a blizzard slammed parts of southeast Montana Wednesday, it seems winter weather is finally giving way to spring-like conditions west of the divide.

National Weather Service Missoula says spring runoff season is just about to start in earnest. 

Dangerously Cold Temperatures Forecast For Western Montana
National Weather Service Missoula

Missoula National Weather Service Meteorologist Corby Dickerson sums up Montana’s winter of 2018/2019 this way.

"We started off the winter a little slow, then we accelerated. And then this month of February, historic in many ways, has been like we just slammed on the gas pedal and said, 'What spring? What mid-winter thaw?'.

Dalit Guscio holds a two-month old osprey chick and prepares to take blood and feather samples.
Maxine Speier / MTPR

It’s been a bad year for osprey after record flooding in some parts of Northwest Montana. That’s according to the scientists and educators with the Montana Osprey Project who have been studying osprey chicks in the Clark Fork watershed for more than a decade.

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