Spring floods: Orchard Homes residents prepare as water begins to rise

(KPAX) Nearly a year after historic flooding in Missoula, residents in the Orchard Homes area are again preparing to deal with rising waters.

Water levels are still low, although some residents are already pumping water out of their basements and filling sandbags.

Water is pooling in low-lying areas on Kherwald Drive, and some residents are preparing with a first round of sandbags.

No one has been evacuated at this time, but Missoula County commissioners have approved an emergency proclamation to start the preparation for at least minor flooding in the next few weeks.

Officials have also closed off Tower Street to mitigate un-needed traffic in the area.

MTN News spoke with some of the residents in this area and while they are not quite in panic mode yet they are definitely preparing for the worst.

There was some frustration with even just the talks of flooding, as many in the Orchard Homes area are still recovering from last year’s near-record water level along the Clark Fork River.

Officials say the best thing the residents can do is to attend the upcoming pre-flooding meeting.

The Office of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service will hold a meeting on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Hawthorne School for residents living in the Orchard Homes area.

Meanwhile, filled sandbags available for public use at Fort Missoula on D Road, on a self serve basis.

Missoula County OEM is continuing to monitor and assess river levels to determine future sandbag needs.

Vast amounts of sediment moved downriver during last spring’s historic flooding on the Clark Fork. (Missoula County Sheriff’s Office)