National News

Safety near flooded Missoula areas remains critical concern

Posted May 11, 2018 3:01 p.m. EDT

— Safety remains a top priority in the flooded areas of Missoula as waters continue to rise. New hazards are emerging including downed trees and power lines as strong waters continue to threaten homes.

Water has completely overtaken some homes and properties on Tower Street, but that that's not the only concern. Water is also approaching sandbag lines west of the area on Krim Street.

The high waters bring with them warnings about poor water quality, downed power lines, and gas leaks. Additionally, many drift logs and other debris are floating off upstream and can cause property and personal damage if you're caught near the water.

"As we get rain and as this melt off continues, one of the areas that we just ask people to be aware of is culverts plugging up, if you see some of those kinds of things report that as well, so we can get those cleared out and prevent any kind of damage from flooding," said Adriane Beck with the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management.

"Of course, our main concern is public safety and the easiest way for people to stay informed of the situation is too register for Smart 911," Beck added.

While the temperature has cooled in recent days, the National Weather Service says they will climb back into the 70s next week. And if they get into the 80s, snowmelt will pick up the pace.

"And those hot temperatures will just get more of that snowmelt coming out of the real high country now and add to the situation. So we're going to have to really keep a close eye on that as we go forward here in time," said National Weather Service Hydrologist Ray Nickless.

Emergency management officials emphasize that its critical time to pay attention to hazards and report any that you see.