Clark Fork River Surpasses 2011 Flood Level – Still Rising
The National Weather Service has confirmed that flooding on the Clark Fork River has surpassed the levels reached in 2011.
Meteorologist Jeff Kitzmiller said early Thursday morning that the swollen river continues to rise after Wednesday’s thunderstorms.
“The Clark Fork above Missoula is now at 12.77 feet, so that is above our 2011 crest,” said Kitzmiller. “It’s actually forecast to go even higher, and it looks like it could reach above 13. 5 feet sometime on Saturday. 13 feet is now possible for today.”
Kitzmiller said the other rivers in Missoula are also on the rise.
“The Bitterroot River near Missoula is at 11.03 feet, and it is just starting its rise in response to the rain,” he said. “It’s a little above flood stage, and it’s forecast to rise rather quickly today. At around 6:00 p.m. today we’re forecasting 12 feet, and then a peak on the Bitterroot is forecast to happen Saturday morning at 12.61 feet. The Blackfoot River near Bonner is at 10.36 feet which is a bit above flood. It hasn’t really changed a lot, but it’s forecast to get up to around 11 feet, and that is supposed to happen at noon on Saturday.”
Hydrologists have been emphasizing that the snow pack in the mountains above 6,000 feet still has not begun to melt, so the effects of those waters have yet to be felt.