Bitterroot River and Valley Streams are Fast and Full
The Bitterroot River is expected to be at flood stage in areas during the Memorial Day weekend.
The upper river near Darby will probably surpass the 7.5 flood stage in the next few days.
Meanwhile, the gauge at Bell Crossing is still below flood stage (Friday, 5/23) and may barely reach the 11 foot level this weekend.
However, lowland flooding is evident throughout the valley. Take a drive along the Victor Crossing Road, for instance.
The Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge is keeping up-to-date on the Bell Crossing gauge.
The Ravalli County Office of Emergency Management can answer questions about preparedness at 375-6655. Sand bags and sand supplies are available at all Bitterroot Valley fire departments – (from north to south) Florence, Three Mile, Stevensville, Victor, Pinesdale, Corvallis, Hamilton, Darby, Sula, West Fork and Painted Rocks.
Drivers – don’t drive through areas where water is running over the road – especially dirt roads. Water can quickly erode the surface of the road and create a deep cut.
KLYQ Radio recommends you not float the river until the high water recedes. The brown, fast-moving water can hide debris such as logs and tree branches that can add even more danger to navigation.