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Ice jams in Gallatin River raise flooding fears - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Ice jams in Gallatin River raise flooding fears

Posted: Jan 03, 2018 9:24 AM Updated:

A flood warning was issued Tuesday along the Gallatin River due to an ice jam.  One Logan homeowner that lives 30 feet from the river is worried about it cresting its bank.

“Yeah, we’re scared this time every year. It’s flooded once before so we know it can happen again,” said Logan resident Mary Thompson. “If it stays right here, we’ll be fine. We’ve got at least another 3 feet before it comes over. We’re mostly worried about it coming over because if it comes over the bank, it’s filling in our property pretty quick.”

The ice jam is currently located at the bridge in Logan heading to Clarkston. According to Jason Anglin, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Great Falls, warmer temperatures in the mountains are causing runoff into the rivers.

“And with that water coming in, it’s just starting to clog things up and kind of breaking that ice up that we just developed over the past week. So we are seeing some ice jams starting to form on the area rivers down there,” Anglin said.

Patrick Lonergan, director of emergency management for Gallatin County, says this ice jam is higher than in the past years.

“You know it’s a little bit more than we typically see out there. It’s pretty common to get ice jams in that particular section of the Gallatin every winter. It does appear to be more water in these low levels than they have seen in quite a few years,” Lonergan said.

Lonergan also confirmed people living in a flood-prone area should keep a watchful eye on this type of situation.

“We encourage anybody that lives next to waterways, whether it’s a small creek, ditch, or river, anything with water going through it, they should pay attention to the water, watch it closely. Make sure they develop a plan on what they would do if conditions got worse and their home or the properties affected,” he said.

Mary Thompson also urged others in the Logan area to keep an eye on water conditions. “It can happen in the blink of an eye and it can be scary,” she said.

For information on what you can do to prepare for a flooding event, visit the Ready Gallatin website.

  • Reported by Kenneth Webb/MTN News
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