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The Latest: Harlem mayor orders limited evacuations

April 18, 2018 - 3:50 PM

HAVRE, Mont. - The Latest on flooding in Montana (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

The mayor of the town of Harlem has ordered the evacuation of a handful of homes that are threatened by flooding.

Mayor K.M. Hansen says Wednesday's order affects about four homes surrounded by water north of the railroad tracks. He says another three or four families have already evacuated and he wanted the others to leave while they still can.

Hansen says the rest of the town of 800 near the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation isn't threatened. He sent a notice to residents that there is a potential for flooding from the Milk River in the near future, though he said he's never seen the river's floodwaters reach town.

Spring runoff from a near-record snowfall has swollen streams in northern Montana, creating a flooding emergency in seven counties and the Fort Belknap reservation.


4:15 p.m.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says there is a flooding emergency in seven counties and the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.

The emergency declaration issued Wednesday allows the use of state government services and equipment, and allows the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to help protect infrastructure.

The governor's office says flooding from rapid snowmelt has the potential to cause widespread damage to homes, farms and infrastructure such as roads.

The order applies to Pondera, Hill, Blaine, Valley, Toole, Liberty and Petroleum counties, along with Fort Belknap and the town of Chester.


10:15 a.m.

Snowmelt is washing out roads, flooding fields and spilling rivers and streams over their banks along Montana's Hi-Line.

The spring runoff after a snowy winter has caused the National Weather Service to issue flood warnings and advisories from west of Cut Bank to Glasgow.

The weather service says major flooding is expected Wednesday along Big Sandy Creek near Havre. To the east, Beaver Creek between Saco and Hinsdale also is flooding.

Both streams feed into the Milk River, which forecasters say is expected to be in flood stage in most locations until the beginning of May.

Chinook Mayor Keith Hanson told residents Tuesday night to prepare for major flooding in and around that city.

The Havre Daily News reports County commissioners declared a disaster and that at least eight Blaine County roads are closed due to flooding.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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