Tanja Fransen at the Glasgow office of the National Weather Service is sending out e-blasts again, as she did during the record flooding of 2011. The latest, sent on Tuesday at noon, begins with a cheery “Hello Milk River Flood Group.”
Fransen said the Milk River had crested at Saco and was cresting at Tampico, having topped out at 24.7 feet. Water is over the North Tampico Road and it is closed.
At Glasgow, things were steadying around 27.8 feet, in the minor flood stage. According to Fransen, some of the models suggest that the Milk River at Glasgow will reach moderate flood stage by Saturday night into Sunday, which brings water across 6th Avenue South and starts cutting off some farmhouses around the local area. Water is rising around Home Run Pond and threatening the ball fields at Sullivan Park, which were extensively repaired after 2011.
“The concern we have is the rainfall forecast for the next three days, with anywhere from 1 to 2 inches possible up the Milk River basin as far west as the Rocky Mountain Front,” Fransen said. “The main areas of concern we have at this point are Beaver Creek in Phillips County and the Milk River and its tributaries, especially the southern ones and Cherry Creek in Valley County.”
The BLM closed the Triple Crossing Access Road in south Valley County because it is impassable at the TC Reservoir. The dam was in danger of failing last week.
Two inches of rain fell in Zortman on Tuesday, but will take at least a week to get to Glasgow via Beaver Creek to the Milk River.
Nashua could go above flood stage, but at this time the water is several feet below the 29-foot level where water starts coming into the gravel road on the west end of town.
Beaver Creek at Hinsdale could also come back to the 15-foot level it was at last Wednesday when it crested.
Areal flood warnings are posted on the NWS for south Phillips County and all of Petroleum County. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued early Wednesday morning for most of central Montana, from Glasgow to Havre and from Canada into northern Wyoming. The storms could include large hail and damaging wind.