As Temperatures Rise, Flood Potential Increases Again

By Beacon Staff

Rising temperatures across Northwest Montana will be making a dent in the snowpack this week, which could have small streams and rivers on the rise.

On Monday afternoon the National Weather Service in Missoula was reporting temperatures in the 80s for the early part of the week before a cool down on Wednesday. But those cooler temperatures could only be temporary and by Friday things were expected to start heating up again.

Although it was unclear how rivers in the Flathead Valley would be affected, the potential for more flooding was there, according to meteorologist LeeAnn Allegretto.

“We’re the most nervous about the Flathead,” she said.

That nervousness was backed up by the historic snowpack that still lingers in the mountains surrounding the valley, with some areas still holding 20 inches of water or “plenty enough to cause issues,” Allegretto said.

With continued and consistent snowmelt, Allegretto said it was possible that the Stillwater, Whitefish and Flathead rivers could again hit flood stage, even as early as next week. For now, it’s up in the air.

“There’s still to many ‘what if this’ or ‘what if that,’” she said.

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