Residents prepare as flooding worsens

Posted at 8:53 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 22:53:56-04

There’s no doubt it was a rough winter.

“It seems like one extreme to another. We had such hot weather last summer, and a cold, cold winter,” West Liberty Fire Chief Jason Wanken said.

As of Wednesday, Governor Steve Bullock has declared a state of emergency due to rising waters.

“There’s just a tremendous amount of water out there right now,” Hill County Commissioner Mark Peterson said.

The state of emergency applies to seven Montana Counties: Pondera, Hill, Blaine, Valley, Toole, Liberty and Petroleum counties, along with the town of Chester and Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.

With the record breaking snowfall, it’s time for spring. But with the warmer temperatures, the snow is melting and causing extreme flooding.

“We started out with a drought, then we went to fire season, then extreme snow falls. And now, we have extreme melting and water,” Peterson said.

In Chester, volunteers from the community are doing everything they can.

“Quite a bit of sandbagging yesterday and then today they started early because it’s coming,” Wanken said.

Many up north are frustrated.

“The snow has kept them bottled up for a long time. There are roads that we have not even been on to plow, and now were dealing with the flood waters to get around. Our guys are tired,” Peterson said.

But many more keeping positive.

“It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Everyone is pulling together real well,” Wanken said.

div[data-mml-type=”relatedcategory”]{border: thin solid #e7e7e7;} .categories-right-icon{display: none;} .stories-area > hr{margin: 0px;} .stories-area > iframe {border: white;} div[data-mml-type]{ overflow: hidden; } div[data-mml-status=”draft”] {display: none !important;} div.fb-post span, div.fb-post span iframe{max-width: 100%;} div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].left, div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].left, div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].left{ float: left; position: relative; overflow:hidden; max-width:100%;}div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].right,div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].right,div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].right{ float: right; position: relative; overflow:hidden; max-width:100%;}div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].center,div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].center,div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].center{ width: 100% !important; overflow:hidden; text-align: center;}div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].center iframe,div[data-mml-type=”twitter”].center twitterwidget,div[data-mml-type=”instagram”].center iframe,div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].center iframe{ margin: auto !important;}div[data-mml-type=”facebook”].center > span{ margin: auto !important; display: block !important;} .mml-display-none{display: none !important;} div[data-mml-type=”gmaps”], div[data-mml-type=”youtube”] {position:relative; width:100%; padding-bottom:56.25%;} div[data-mml-type=”gmaps”] iframe, div[data-mml-type=”youtube”] iframe {position:absolute; left:0; top:0;} div[data-embed-type=”clip”],div[data-mml-type=”clip”]{position: relative;padding-bottom: 56.25%;width: 100%;box-sizing: border-box;} div[data-embed-type=”clip”] iframe { position: absolute;}}div[data-embed-type=”social”], {position: relative;padding-bottom: 56.25%;width: 100%;box-sizing: border-box;} div[data-embed-type=”social”] iframe,div[data-mml-type=”clip”] iframe { position: absolute;}}.frankly-img{max-width:100%;}