Missoula flood evacuee shares her story

Posted at 3:15 PM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 15:01:32-04

MISSOULA – Homeowners in the middle of the Clark Fork River flooding know they’ll be displaced for a while but what they don’t know is just how bad it’s going to get.

We caught up with one woman who is playing a very uncomfortable waiting game with the water.

“My house is an island. I’m surrounded on all four sides. My house is just sitting on the top and it’s a full blown island right now,” said evacuee Genevieve King.

She can see her house over the flooded fence and moving water. While her has shop flooded King’s home is just high enough to stay dry. But for how long?

“There’s a lot of people in a lot worse shape than me. You know, my house isn’t 100-percent for sure safe, I think it probably is. The water is coming from so many different directions now,” King said.

She had to leave for good on Tuesday and her cat is out there somewhere. While King knew the area could flood, she still feels a little blindsided by how bad it got so quickly.

“They’ve been saying it was going to flood since February and March. So—oh, it’s going to be a big flood this year. But nobody did anything. Nobody said anything, you know. We all talked about it in the neighborhood, like, well, back in 2011 it flooded, you know at the end of May. This is a whole month early,” King said.

She’s worried about her neighbors whose homes are flooded and what happens once the water recedes.

“Kehrwald has been dug down by the water that came up after the first time. And then it came down, it carved out this groove that if I stood in it, the road is like up to here on me (gesturing to mid-chest) and there’s exposed gas lines and it’s eroded so fast. It’s amazing how fast the water eats away at the road,” King explained.

King was able to put food and water out for her cat before she had to leave for good. She also has seen some drone video that shows so far her house is still above the water line.

Reporting by Jill Valley for MTN News

An evacuation order remains in effect for the following areas:

  • Tower Street, north of 3rd Street
  • Kehrwald Drive
  • Channel Drive
  • Nancy Lou Drive
  • Keck Street and Stone Street – north of Flamingo Drive
  • Schmidt Road
  • Off Mullan Road

Due to danger from flooding conditions, residents are being ordered to evacuate immediately. Residents affected by the order are asked to check in at the information trailer set up in the Wheat Montana parking lot on the corner of 3rd and Reserve .streets.

Road Closures:

  • Tower Street will be closed to all traffic
  • Nancy Lou Drive will be closed to all traffic
  • Stone Street north of Flamingo Drive will be closed to all traffic
  • Schmidt Road will be closed to all traffic

A flood information line, 258-INFO, has been established and is staffed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Callers will hear an updated recording after hours. A public information trailer is set up at the Wheat Montana parking lot at 2520 S 3rd St W. and is staffed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Information is posted after hours.