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Bainville, County Officials Monitor Flooding

Roosevelt County Disaster & Emergency Services coordinator Lindsey McNabb was in Bainville Saturday, March 23, monitoring floodwaters in the area with Bainville Mayor Dennis Poitra, Bainville Fire Chief Lyle Lambert and representatives from Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad. McNabb estimated as many as 10 people were involved in the flood monitoring and mitigation efforts.

Water covered Road 1009 and other area roadways and impacted operations at a frac sand plant owned by Denver-based OmniTRAX. Workers at the Bainville plant could be seen moving dirt to shore up berms. Two fishing ponds near the plant were overspilling their banks. According to Roosevelt County Commissioner Gordon Oelkers, the ponds were once water stops for steam locomotives. At least two homes and the firehall were in danger of taking on water.
McNabb says workers in Bainville detached two propane tanks from their foundations. The tanks were submerged below a bridge and at least one of the tanks was leaking propane. Once released from their foundations, the tanks were towed by a small dingy to higher ground.
No permanent flood damage has been reported in the area. At press time, McNabb says conditions in the area are stable and there are no road closures.
According to Cory Mottice, lead meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Glasgow, the Missouri River is behaving itself in the Culbertson area.
“The gauge near Culbertson is reading 13.7 feet as of 3 p.m. on March 25,” Mottice told The Herald-News. “Flood stage is 19 feet. The Big Muddy Creek near Culbertson is experiencing minor flooding with possible ice jams. The gauge quit reporting for an unknown reason at 6:15 a.m. March 25. The stage then was 18.89 feet.” Mottice said flood stage for the creek is 16 feet.
Mottice reports that the Poplar River was at flood stage as of 2:30 p.m. March 25. The reading at that time was 20.45 feet. Major flood stage is 19 feet.
In McCone County, area media reports road closures south of Highway 200. These roads include Last Chance Road, Watkins, Chalk Butte, Bob Fudge, Brockway East and Ash Creek. North of Highway 200, Prairie Elk Road, North Road and Horse Creek have some flooding but are passable. McCone County Emergency Services coordinator Sarah Hodge said road conditions are changing rapidly. She expects warmer weather this weekend to produce more runoff north of Highway 200.
Valley County Dispatch reports via social media that the following roads were closed at press time: Canal Road, Tampico North, Beaver Creek, Valley View Trail, Stone House, Aitken and Whatley. Shady Lane and Maag Road have reports of water on the roadway and washouts have been reported on Billingsley, Larb Creek, Anderson, Willow Creek, Vandalia, Tampico, Cutacross, Cherry Creek, East Hanson, Johnson, Martin Coulee, Millionaire Mile, Zerbe, Bear Creek, Burn, River, Lindell, Turner, Rock Creek, Gilbertson, Oswego North, Oswego Creek, Lustre, Granada and Saubak-Peerless.
Water levels are rising at Fort Peck Reservoir, according to a press release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As of March 24, releases of 6,600 cubic feet per second were offset by inflows of 67,000, resulting in a pool elevation of 2,235.73. This represents a .3 feet rise in pool elevation in 24 hours.
Stay up-to-date on National Weather Service Alerts and information:

 www.weather.gov/byz/montana_statewide_information.

 

Photo: Two propane tanks in Bainville were submerged by floodwaters Saturday, March 23, and had to be removed from their foundations and moved to higher ground. (By Lindsey McNabb).