National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for north-central Montana including Blaine, Chouteau, Hill and Liberty counties, with two inches of rain — up to three in some areas — expected to fall through Friday evening.
The notice says most streams are below their banks at this point, but the steady rain expected could cause levels to rise quickly.
Two inches of rain are expected from the eastern edge of Toole County to the southern borders of Fergus and Judith Basin counties, with up to three inches possible in the southern Bear Paw Mountains.
Hill County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator Joe Parenteau said he expects much of the rain to soak into the ground, but it eventually is likely to start to run off and swell stream levels.
He asked people to notify the Hill County Sheriff’s Office at 265-2512 if they see flooding, and to call 911 in case of an emergency.
Parenteau also said people should avoid driving through or walking across running water in case of flooding.
He said that, in addition to some stream level gauges that are available, the county will be relying on weather spotters and people in the area to notify the county government if flooding begins.
The Weather Service flood watch notice also says people should monitor updates to the warning, and in case of a flood warning or of their observing rising stream levels be prepared to take action.