Great Falls area flooding update (Thursday mid-day)

Posted at 11:47 AM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 13:47:06-04

The Emergency Operations Center in Great Falls says that National Weather Service hydrologists are reporting that the Sun River has peaked within the last two hours and should start to slowly recede.

The Missouri River is within approximately six inches of its crest, which is now estimated to occur at around midnight on Thursday. The river is now expected to peak at about 15.2 feet, which is less than earlier predictions of 17 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

The Sun River, according to the NWS, has crested at about 9.5 feet, which is about 3.5 feet above flood stage, and is expected to begin receding later on Thursday.

There are complimentary sand bags available in the Home Depot parking lot in the Great Falls Marketplace. Once the available bag supply is depleted, community members may bring their own bags to fill with complimentary sand. This operation will shut down at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The Red Cross shelter at New Hope Lutheran Church (3125 5th Avenue S) will remain open until at least 6 a.m. on Friday. 

(6:45 a.m. Thursday) Governor Steve Bullock is issuing an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency for the City of Great Falls and Cascade County, and Lewis & Clark County.

According to the Great Falls/Cascade County Emergency Operations Center, the neighborhoods of Gannon Ranch Addition and near Meadowlark Country Club, including Country Club Boulevard, have been added to a list of high-risk flood areas.

The following roads have been closed due to flooding:

  • Central Avenue West from 34th Street to Sun River Road
  • River Drive South from 1st Avenue South to 3rd Avenue South (near the Electric City Water Park)

Until further notice, the boat launches at Broadwater Bay and Sun River are closed. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks has also closed all of Cascade County’s boat launches.

Great Falls firefighters and police officers as well as the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office plan to go door-to-door in the most high-risk areas delivering information about possible evacuations and flood safety. Visit the Cascade City-County Health Department’s website for more information.

To find out if your location is at risk, go to the FEMA Flood Map Service Center website. If you are unable to access the internet, call 406-455-8554 to receive general information.


The American Red Cross of Montana will open a shelter in Great Falls at 6 a.m. on Thursday at the New Hope Lutheran Church, located at 3125 5th Avenue South. Families who need services should call the Montana Red Cross at 800-272-6668.

Anyone displaced by the flood who is in need of a place to stay, is encouraged to go to this shelter. The Red Cross does not allow domestic pets or livestock at their shelters. Pets may be boarded, at the owner’s expense, at a private boarding facility. As of Wednesday night, these boarding facilities had available space: Sharon’s F& L Pet Resort, Weona Pet Resort, and Happy Tails Lodge.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Region 4 Warden Captain, Dave Holland, is strongly discouraging any activity on the waterways. There is extreme danger with fast moving water, debris, and toxic fluids and solids that have seeped into the water.

(UPDATE, 8:38 a.m.) Latest information on road closures and advisories:

  • South Manchester closed at McIver Road. (6/21 6:10 am)
  • Ulm Vaughn Road is fully open. (6/21 7:42 am)
  • All fishing access sites between Cascade and Great Falls are closed. (6/20 7:41 pm)
  • 4th Street at dike closed in Vaughn. (6/21 7:10 am)
  • Central Avenue West at 34th Street and McIver at Sun River Road are closed. (6/20 5:42 pm)
  • Lower River Road along Broadwater Bay Park is closed. (6/20 5:42 pm)
  • Hwy 200 from 89 to Bowmans Corner is open. (6/21 8:20 am)
  • Sun River-Cascade Road from town of Sun River south of cemetery is closed. (6/21 7:10 am)
  • Lowery Road has been reopened. (6/21 7:10 am)
  • S-565 Simms to Fairfield cut across is now open (6/21 7:10 am)
  • MT-21 Bridge washed out 1/2 mile east of Augusta, road closed at Simms. Local access only. (6/19 3:51 pm)

For all up to date highway information visit the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) website.

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