Flathead, Swan rivers cresting in minor flood stage

Griffen Smith

Weeks of rain and snow in northwest Montana have kept the region’s rivers and streams in flood stage, but experts say the worst has passed as more seasonal, sunny weather enters the radar.

Both the Flathead and Swan rivers were in minor flood stage midday Wednesday, with several nearby creeks and tributaries spilling out of their banks.

The Flathead River, which has been in minor flood stage for 10 days, triggered several pre-evacuation notices earlier this week. The 700 block of Wagner Lane near Kalispell, south River Road and the Evergreen area remain on notice of potential low-lying flooding.

“We are pretty much waiting in the status quo,” said Flathead County Undersheriff Wayne Dubois. “We’re hoping it should peak today or tomorrow and drop from there.”

Provisional data at the river gauge near Columbia Falls detected the Flathead rising to about 14.5 feet Wednesday. Minor flood stage is 13 feet. The river peaked just under 15 feet on June 16, and has hovered in the 14-foot range since.

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