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Flooding possible along Flathead River with more rain expected

by Daily Inter Lake
| June 13, 2022 11:00 AM

Flooding is possible along portions of the Flathead River this week as a potent atmospheric river dumps copious amounts of rain and mountain snow on the region.

A flood warning was issued Sunday for areas around the main river at Columbia Falls. The warning was to remain in place until further notice, the National Weather Service in Missoula stated. A flood watch was in place for the Flathead and Mission valleys, Lower Clark Fork Region and the Kootenai and Cabinet areas.

The Flathead River was predicted to rise to 14.5 feet on Monday morning due to upstream factors including recent warm temperatures, rainfall and another round of heavy precipitation, the Weather Service stated. The river could stay at the level through the week.

Flood stage is at 13 feet.

According to the Weather Service, when the Flathead River hits 14 feet sections of Steel Bridge Road become flooded and impassable.

At 16 feet, low lying building and roads in the vicinity of Kalispell, Creston, Columbia Falls and Foy’s Bend begin to flood. At 16.1 feet, a trailer and RV park on Montana 35 near Evergreen may be flooded.

Motorists should not attempt to drive around barricades or drive through flooded areas, the Weather Service warned.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks warned that the Kokanee Bend and Old Steel Bridge sites have limited access due to flooding. Other fishing access sites may have similar access limitations.

VALLEY RAIN and mountain snow is expected through Tuesday night in Northwest Montana.

Area mountains will get hit the hardest, with an additional 2-4 inches of precipitation in the Flathead, Mission, Swan and Cabinet mountains, the Weather Service warned.

A rare June winter storm warning was issued for Glacier National Park above 5,000 feet.

Snow levels could drop down to around 5,000 feet by Tuesday morning. Some locations above 6,000 feet will pick up over a foot of wet, dense snow.

“For people in the backcountry, they should expect conditions much, much worse than typical June weather,” the Weather Service stated.

Warmer weather should move in quickly as the storm exits the region. By Thursday, area temperatures could be 10 to 15 degrees above average, with highs into the 80s.