As federal emergency officials arrived in Montana on Tuesday to assess damages from flooding that's touched nearly all corners of the state, Gov. Brian Schweitzer warned residents that flooding "is probably going to get worse before it gets better." As he spoke, Schweitzer pointed to a map showing 20 sites, from Kalispell to Glendive, that are at or near flood stage along numerous rivers. With more rain in the immediate forecast and much snow yet to melt, water should remain high for weeks, he said.In a related story, the Gazette's Brett French tells us:
John Daggett, operations manager at Fort Peck, said the town of Wolf Point would largely be spared. The outlying areas would be hardest hit, along with utilities and facilities such as sewage lagoons, he said. To prepare for the runoff from a record snowpack, the Corps has to make room in its reservoirs. Downstream dams will see record outflows up to 150,000 cfs, causing flooding in the cities of Bismarck, N.D., and Pierre, S.D., as well as outlying areas. In a conference call Tuesday, a North Dakota congressional representative said citizens were concerned that the dams would be unsafe at such high water levels. Minot, N.D., Mayor Curt Zimbelman ordered a quarter of the city's residents to evacuate areas along the flooding Souris River. He said the evacuation order affects about 10,000 residents.Democratic Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester have surveyed the hard-hit Crow Nation where high school graduations have been postponed for at least two weeks. Even Republican Representative Dennybriated Rehberg sounded off between Kochtails.
The Bismarck Tribune is warning residents on the Standing Rock as the Corps raises spillway gates on the Garrison Dam:
History will be made at 8 a.m. Wednesday when for the first time ever the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers raises Garrison Dam spillway gates to help relieve a massive amount of water in Lake Sakakawea behind the dam.The Jefferson River snowpack is at 220% of normal; more rain on the way.