As the rain started falling in Missoula on Tuesday, the County Commissioners issued an emergency proclamation, according to the Director of the Office of Emergency Management, Adriane Beck.

“In anticipation of the rain that is currently occurring we did ask the County Commissioners to sign an emergency proclamation for flooding this morning,” said Beck. “What that does for us is that allows for our emergency operations plan for flooding to be activated, and for certain authorities that may be necessary to be delegated from the commissioners, as the primary elected officials to agencies that may have roles to play in protecting life and property.”

Beck looked at the models and estimated what may occur with this rain event.

“From the models and what is forecast, we’re expected to reach a gauge height of around that 10 to 11 foot mark on the Clark Fork River,” she said. “That’s the gauge above Missoula that is kind of a barometer for the impacts that we see in the Orchard Homes area. Based on what occurred in 2018, that gauge height is concerning in that we will see some overland flooding with potential impacts to private property, as well as some roads in that area.”

Beck said homeowners who need sand and sandbags can find free resources at Fort Missoula.

“There is bulk sand as well as empty sandbags available at Fort Missoula and those are free for the public to protect their private property,” she said. “We do encourage people to take only what they need and to only use sandbags to protect their homes and not the entire perimeter of their property.”

Beck also reminds all county residents to register to receive free alerts from Missoula County.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t remind folks to register for emergency alerts as we see changing conditions in areas that may impact individuals, we want to communicate with them in a time fashion,” she said. “The best way to receive those alerts is to register for them at Smart 911 dot com.”

Tower Street and Kehrwald Drive are the two streets that usually receive the brunt of early flooding from the Clark Fork River.