HELENA- Lewis and Clark Co. Commissioners declared a flood emergency at their Thursday meeting, citing current and potential flooding in the county.
The declaration clears the way for the county to offer sandbags to residents who face high water in and around their property.
Over the past weekend, warm temperatures and rain pushed Tenmile Creek over its banks in the area of McHugh Dr. Northern parts of the county, in and around Lincoln, have also seen some minor flooding.
The county will begin handing out sand and sandbags to residents on Saturday, May 5. They will be available at the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
County officials say sandbags will only be available to county residents. Volunteers have been asked to help fill sandbags, but people should expect to fill their bags.
“If there are volunteer groups that wish to come to the fairgrounds and fill sandbags for people, they’re free to do so,” said Reese Martin, the county’s disaster and emergency services coordinator. “I actually encourage that, because oftentimes during emergencies, we see the best of our community come out.”
The county will keep a record of the number of bags distributed. Residents who already have bags but need sand will be limited to filling 50 bags.
Law enforcement officers will be on scene to ensure proper protocols are followed.
Local fire chiefs in Lincoln and Augusta are determining how to distribute sandbags in those locations.
Martin said the county hopes to continue distributing sandbags through the weekend and into next week. If you would like to help with the distribution, you can contact DES at (406) 447-8285.