Mandatory evacuations ordered for Missoula residents in flood areas

Posted at 3:53 PM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 15:03:56-04

MISSOULA – Residents in the Orchard Homes area are now on an evacuation order, according to the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.

The area includes the following:

  • All residences on Tower Street to the North of 3rd Street
  • Kehrwald
  • Channel Drive
  • Nancy Lou
  • Keck Street
  • Stone Street to the North of its intersection at Flamingo Drive.
  • Residents of Schmidt Road and the road called “Off Mullan Road”

Road blocks will also be set up at Tower and 3rd, Nancy Lou and 3rd and Flamingo and Stone.

A Red Cross emergency shelter is located at Christ the King Church, 1400 Gerald Avenue in Missoula. For more information call 406-258-4636.

An information booth has also been set up in the parking lot of Wheat Montana or you can call 406-258-4636.

MISSOULA – Flooding conditions have bee changing constantly throughout the past week and new predictions show flood levels that haven’t been seen since the 70’s

The National Weather Service predicts that the Clark Fork River will hit major flood stage later this week and officials are preparing for evacuations

Missoula County Sheriffs deputies started going door-to-door on Monday to talk with residents west of Hiberta along Third Street about a new evacuation warning that went into effect.

“This is an evacuation warning which means we are just saying you need to start making those final precautionary measures,” explained Missoula County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Brenda Basset. “If you need to get livestock out if you need to get medications if you need special assistance you need to start making those plans now.”

Sheriff’s deputies are attempting to make contact with over 800 homes that have been broken down into five zones. While this is just an evacuation warning at this time, law enforcement is encouraging residents to leave the area if possible.

“With water though it can rise up. Groundwater can rise up, so it could be one of those things where you wake up in your house and there’s water in your house and you might not be able to get out,” Bassett said. “So that’s why we say with these warnings if you self-evacuate that is best especially with flooding.”

Officials hope that people in problem areas will evacuate, but for those residents who choose to ride out the floods local fire departments are gearing up.

“The fire departments are staffing up with some swift water rescue teams just in case they do get some increased calls dealing with the swift water so they have their teams on standby should that need arise,” said Missoula County Type 3 Incident Management Team spokesman Mel Holtz.

“But again, we want to promote the safety aspect of this that rising flood water can be very quick the undercurrent there so we want to emphasize being very careful out there,” Holtz added.

As it stands now, the evacuation notice is just a warning and if that turns into an evacuation order officials ask that you leave your home immediately, for your own safety.

“Like I said we are working with so many different unknowns that it’s hard to say whether we will have evacuations orders in place. There’s a lot of similarities with fires — and some differences. “But some of the similarities are that if there is an evacuation order we ask people to leave immediately,” Bassett said. “You won’t have time to make final preparations and if you choose to stay we might not be able to come in and help you.”

Information about the flooding situation can be found by calling Missoula County at (406) 258-4636.

The Red Cross is operating a flood evacuation shelter at Christ the King Church on Gerald Avenue in Missoula. Residents seeking shelter should call 1-800-272-6668.

Anyone who needs emergency assistance in the event of an evacuation order should contact 911.

Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News