The Clark Fork and Bitterroot Rivers are Currently in Flood Stage
Both the Clark Fork and Bitterroot Rivers are in flood stage and will be until further notice, according to Missoula County Disaster and Emergency Services Director Adriane Beck.
“Currently, we have both the Bitterroot River and the Clark Fork River in flood stage, mainly as a response to the incredibly warm temperatures that we had over the weekend and 24-hour snow melt,” Beck said. “Our evening temperatures did not go below freezing during that time either. What we are seeing is that the river is responding and snow melt is coming off of the mountains. When we look at the forecast and what the river is expected to do, at least on the Clark Fork River, it is anticipated to stay in that flood stage or fluctuate back and forth for the remainder of this week.”
Beck said the flooding is limited in scope to certain areas on both rivers. The Bitterroot River is above flood stage in Missoula County. It is just below flood stage in Ravalli County and is receding, but there is some lowland field flooding.
“It is pretty much localized,” Beck said. “We continue to keep a pretty close eye on areas of impact and areas of concern. What we are seeing along the Bitterroot River is fields being flooded. We have been out and done some observations. We haven’t seen any areas of concern as of right now. We expect that the Clark Fork River and Bitterroot River will actually recede a little bit here in the next 24-hours, but will remain in that flood stage.”
Beck said there have been no official evacuations due to the high water in Missoula.
“There have been no evacuations,” Beck said. “To our knowledge, there have been some folks who have chosen to go stay else ware. For the most part, individuals are able to access their home either by going through some water or using a boat. We continue to keep an eye on that to ensure that it is not an unsafe situation down there.”
Beck expects the rivers to gradually recede as the summer deepens in Missoula.