Where water levels may be headed in the next few weeks

Posted at 5:29 PM, May 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-09 11:28:30-04

HELENA — Increased snowmelt and rain have raised the water levels at Prickly Pear and Ten Mile Creek. Local emergency officials are keeping a watch for flooding and helped explain how residents concerned about possible flooding should prepare.

According to a hydrograph from NOAA, the creek’s water level dipped into the Action category recently.

“And so, that’s kind of the trigger point where you start seeing information being released about those particular creeks or streams in the area,” says Floodplain Manager for Lewis & Clark County, Worby McNamee.

Thankfully, water levels for Ten Mile are looking promising during the next week and for the rest of May. Additionally, no snow remains on the valley floor.

“Ten Mile Creek is seeing a drop from the weekend, which is good. You’ll see some scattered thunderstorms and, you know, generally, some storms moving through the area, but the precipitation will be minimal, and the creeks will continue to start dropping even though, you know, they peaked over the weekend and people probably saw some pretty high water,” says McNamee.

That outcome is only a prediction though and doesn’t cover what may happen in June. And of Prickly Pear Creek, McNamee says those levels are harder to predict.

In case of flooding, there are a few things residents can do to prepare, such as signing up for DES alerts.

“I always recommend signing up for our emergency alerts only because that is the major way that we get ahold of people in an emergency,” says Anderson.

Additionally, folks can keep important documents on hand, keep extra water on hand, know evacuation routes, and utilize proper sandbag placement.