Helena rain not enough to concern officials about flooding here

Nolan Lister

Despite consistent rain and flooding in nearby areas of Montana, officials who monitor the Lewis and Clark County area say they are not concerned about flooding within its borders.

Lewis and Clark County Flood Plains Manager Worby McNamee said in an interview Monday he has been monitoring National Weather Service data out of the Great Falls forecast office and stream gauges throughout the Helena Valley. McNamee said “I think we’re in a good place right now” as far as the potential for flooding is concerned.

He said the Helena Valley aquifer is still low enough following years of extreme drought that the excess water in Ten Mile Creek and other bodies of water in the valley will recharge the underground water source.

“You might see the creek rise a bit, but the water is still getting pushed into the aquifer,” McNamee said. “We’ve seen some isolated storms that have lasted a little longer than is typical, but the breaks in those systems is allowing for that recharge.”

NWS Senior Service Hydrologist Arin Peters said Monday that despite the rain in recent weeks, the Helena Valley is still about 40% below its normal rain totals.

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