Blaine County hit hard by flooding

Posted at 7:11 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 21:11:22-04

Flooding along the Hi-Line has caused the town of Harlem to issue an evacuation order for some residents.

The town posted the following message on its Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon: 


Due to the extreme flooding happening on the north side of the City of Harlem, Mayor K.M. Hansen is ordering a MANDATORY EVACUATION for the residents living NORTH OF THE RAILROAD TRACKS.

Any questions can be referred to Harlem City Hall, (406) 353-2361.

Flooding is also causing problems in other areas of Blaine County. The Blaine County Health Department posted the following message on Wednesday afternoon:

Based on the information known at this time, extensive flooding is predicted throughout the Milk River floodplain in Blaine County. County Officials strongly encourage all affected residents to be proactive and take immediate action.
Livestock producers that have not already moved animals and equipment should do so immediately. Be prepared to evacuate to higher ground on short notice. Have an evacuation plan in place with your personal essentials ready to take with you. As floodwater may rise rapidly, the need for pre-planning and preparation cannot be overstated. The variables that ultimately determine which areas will or will not flood are numerous making it impossible to map where and to what degree flooding will take place. The only certainty at this time is that flooding will take place in the Milk River valley of Blaine County. You are strongly encouraged to take action to protect yourself and your property at this time.

Please continue to follow the Blaine County Health Department Facebook page & the local radio stations for the most current information.

We will update you as we get more information.

(Wednesday, 3:37 p.m.) Governor Steve Bullock issued an executive order on Wednesday declaring a state of emergency due to flooding in seven counties, on the Fort Belknap Indian reservation, and in the town of Chester.

The executive order has been issued for the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, the town of Chester, and Pondera, Hill, Blaine, Valley, Toole, Liberty, and Petroleum Counties.

Bullock said in a press release: “As Montanans are faced with flooding, we are doing everything necessary at the state level to protect health and safety, and to preserve lives, property, and resources. We continue to keep in close communication with local and tribal officials as we monitor conditions around the state.”

Rapid snowmelt and flooding have impacted the Milk River Basin and Marias River Basin with the potential to cause widespread damage to farmland, private residences, and critical infrastructure.

Near-record snowpack in nearly every river basin across Montana is soon expected to begin to melt off as temperatures begin to rise.

The executive order authorizes the availability and utilization of necessary state government services, equipment and supplies. It also allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to utilize sandbags and other resources available for critical infrastructure protection.

Bullock has also established a Multi-Agency Coordinating Group to keep informed of the flooding situation statewide.

The State Emergency Coordination Center continues to work closely with local and tribal jurisdictions.

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