Clark Fork River Flooding to Hit Top Three Worst This Week, Cresting Over 13 Feet
Missoula’s Clark Fork River is in major flood stage now, after it crossed a historic mark at around 11:00 a.m. on Thursday morning, May 10.
“The Clark Fork above Missoula river gauge just reached 13 feet, which is major flood stage,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Bruce Bauck. “It is in fact at 13.05 feet and that puts it in the top 6 all-time historic crests. The second is 13.75 and the fifth is 13.07. It is going to get really close to the all-time top two or three by the time this is done.”
Bauck says the river crest is expected to be higher than the third highest record by the weekend, but probably won’t beat the all-time highest crest set more than a century ago.
“The top one is 17 feet, set in 1908, and that one was a huge flood,” Bauck said. “We probably won’t hit that one, but we are going to be right there at number two or three all-time. We are forecasting this to go to 13.6 feet Saturday morning. It should get there somewhere in that time frame. The last time it got to over 13 feet was 1981.”
The Bitterroot River near Missoula is only a little eleven feet, just over the flood stage mark. The all-time record for the Bitterroot River is 14.55 feet, set way back in 1889.