Missoula County Issues Evacuation Warning and Flooding Update
We’ll keep updating this page as we receive info.
P R E S S R E L E A S E
June 9, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Robert Kennedy
Missoula County Sheriff’s Office
MISSOULA COUNTY ISSUES EVACUATION WARNING AND FLOODING UPDATE
Based on the high water levels and the possibility that it could continue to rise in the coming hours, County Officials suggest that residents in significantly affected areas secure alternate housing accommodations. The longer citizens wait, the greater the possibility of increasing hazards and more dangerous conditions for them and emergency responders. The High Water Public Information Line (258-4636) can provide residents with guidelines to follow when evacuating their homes.
Currently, the Clark Fork River is expected to level off tomorrow. The river is projected to crest at 12.6 feet within 24 to 36 hours. The Bitterroot River is cresting currently. Both rivers will remain running very high for the foreseeable future.
Public Works staff continue to work with residents on Tower, 3rd, and Reserve Streets in providing sand bags. Supervisors and Sheriff’s Deputies remain on call 24 hours a day to visit affected areas and identify areas that need additional assistance.
Citizens interested in volunteering to fill sandbags and help residents should contact the service organizations or churches with which they currently volunteer. The United Way is asking those service groups to appoint a single point of contact and notify the United Way of established groups ready to help.
Missoula County will hold another press conference today at 2:00 p.m. in room 374 of the County Courthouse. Staff will provide updated weather information based on a 1:30 briefing with the National Weather Service and be available to answer questions about activities related to mitigation and other operations.
Our news guy, Peter Christian, reports:
Missoula County Authorities have declared a flood emergency. At a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Robert Kennedy with the Sheriff’s Department described the areas current affected by the flooding of the Clark Fork River. He also notified residents in the area that they might have to leave their homes if the water gets too high…and that the Red Cross will be helping out with emergency shelters and food if they become necessary. Parts of the news conference are attached.
The county Emergency Services line will be manned from 8 am till 7 pm to answer questions and provide information about the flooding..that number remains as 258-INFO.
Sergeant Rob Taylor with the Missoula Sheriff’s Department says the National Weather Service will be the catalyst for efforts by County officials to commit more time and personnel to the flooding emergency declared this afternoon at a 4 pm press conference. I spoke with Sergeant Taylor after the conference, and that interview is attached.
Taylor asks residents to use their good judgment before calling 9-1-1 to report high water, but that Sheriff’s and County Emergency personnel are ready to help at a moments notice.