Flood Advisories Issued for Lake, Sanders Counties

Flathead County sheriff says minor isolated flooding incidents reported but nothing major

By Dillon Tabish
Vehicles travel through slushy road conditions on Main Street in downtown Kalispell. Dillon Tabish | Flathead Beacon

Following a stretch of cold weather and heavy snowfall, sudden warm temperatures are leading to enhanced snowmelt and flood concerns across Western Montana.

The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory Feb. 10 for Lake, Sanders, Missoula, Mineral and Granite counties. Runoff from rain and snowmelt may cause flooding of fields and poor drainage areas, the agency said. City streets may be impacted, especially where street gutters and stormwater drains are clogged with snow and ice. Ponding of water on area roads is also expected.

Slushy and slippery road conditions have been reported, creating dangerous driving conditions.

Western Montana is experiencing a sudden spell of unseasonably warm weather and light rain is forecasted for the following week. Temperatures in Kalispell surpassed 40 degrees on Friday.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry said minor isolated flooding incidents have been reported but nothing major.

“We’re keeping an eye on it,” he said.

Residences are most likely to be impacted with this sudden snowmelt with concerned centered on basement flooding, Curry said.

“Right now, the rivers aren’t up. It takes a longer period of time for rivers and streams to flood. We’re watching those levels.”

This region has experienced a frenetic weather pattern this past week, starting with a massive winter storm that buried much of Northwest Montana followed by avalanche concerns and now flooding anxiety.

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