Officials address Cascade County, Sun River flooding concerns

Posted at 4:57 PM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 20:04:37-04

After widespread rain, several areas of north-central Montana are dealing with floodwaters, including in Cascade County.

County officials addressed flooding concerns Monday afternoon and stated they are working with responders and the Bureau of Reclamation for impacted areas such as Simms, Fort Shaw, and Sun River.

The water is expected to continue rising for the next 48 hours.

There are no evacuation orders in place, however, residents are encouraged to monitor updates from the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office. Officials also advised having an emergency preparedness kit ready with a 72-hour supply of water, medications, and essential items.

At 5 p.m. Monday, a limited number of sandbags will be available to Sun River residents at Sun River Church of Latter-day Saints, which is located at #5 Dracut Road in Sun River.

The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday morning that Gibson Dam is almost full due to the heavy rain and melting snow.

Officials are preparing to open Gibson Dam to release the overburden of water. When the dam is opened, the Sun River will experience flooding in low-lying areas, according to the CCSO.

Gibson Dam is able to store 99,000 acre feet of water in its reservoir. As of May 26, Gibson Reservoir was 93.9 percent full and pool elevation was recorded at 4719.4 feet. The reservoir flood control pool was zero percent filled.

Gibson Dam is on the Sun River and Sun River is a tributary of the Missouri River. Flooding is expected to continue throughout the week for the Sun River.

During a flood, the following steps are advised:

  • Stay out of flood waters. Do not drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. Always follow authorities’ instructions on evacuation orders and be aware of changes in traffic routes.
  • If water levels continue to rise, seek higher ground. Floodwaters may contain bacterial contaminants, hazardous substances or sharp objects.
  • Move livestock to higher ground. Do not wait until floodwaters rise to keep animals safe.
  • Check for local boil-water advisories. Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, make ice or make baby formula.

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