Havre Daily News - News you can use

Water rises in creeks and lakes


Tim Leeds Havre Daily News [email protected]

Snow and rain throughout the area have raised the levels of streams and rivers but seem not to have caused major fears of flooding. “We are basically just keeping an eye on it, especially with some late moisture,” Ron Knudson, Hill County emergency services manager said Wednesday. Haley Gustitis, emergency services manager in Blaine County, said the chance of flooding looks low there as well. “We don't have any areas of concern at the moment,” she said. Gustitis said Blaine County officials also are continuing to monitor stream flows, including visual checks and online through U.S. Geological Service and U.S. Department of Reclamation Web sites. Ruben Horseman, fire chief at the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, said some minor flooding occurred a couple of weeks ago, with the Mission Canyon Road being closed for a couple of days, but there is little concern of flooding now even with the snow and rain that fell in the area Wednesday. “We got a lot of moisture yesterday, but it ran off as it melted,” he said, adding that the thaw that melted the snow off a few weeks ago seems to have cleared anything that would have plugged stream beds and caused flooding. The National Weather Service reports that much of the precipitation in the area this year came in April and May, with 1.27 inches of precipitation including 5.2 inches of snow reported in April at its weather station west of Havre, and .34 inches of precipitation this month including another .8 inches of snow. The levels are keeping the water high in the Milk River, as well. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reports that Fresno Reservoir was 98 percent full Wednesday, compared with it being 51 percent full on May 13, 2008. Lake Sherburne near Babb, from which water is transported to the Milk River via the St. Mary diversion system, was 41 percent full Wednesday, compared to being 9 percent full on May 13, 2008. Knudson said the wet spring did raise the water levels in Beaver Creek and caused some flooding in the Bear's Paw Mountains. He said Beaver Creek Park Superintendent Chad Edgar said he had never seen minor flooding in Beaver Creek Park as early as it came this year. Edgar worked to build up berms around camp sites in the park, and the flooding has been stopped, Knudson added. “They were getting the park ready, getting it cleaned up and ready to go,” Knudson said. The dams on Beaver Creek are in good shape, Knudson said, and the county is not having any problems with them.


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