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Warm Weather Will Bring Area Streams and Rivers to Near Flood Stage [AUDIO]

2011 flood
photo from Missoula County

Recent warm temperatures are causing increasing snow melt, leading to higher water levels in area streams and rivers.

Meteorologist Dan Zumpf with the National Weather Service office in Missoula said the river levels have risen over the last week.

“The rivers have gotten higher, along with all the smaller creeks and streams,” Zumpf said. “We expect them to remain high this coming week, and we expect them to become even higher toward the end of the week and temperatures get even higher. into the 80′s.”

Zumpf says the Bitterroot River will probably be the first to go over its banks.

“It looks like the Bitterroot will be the first one to cause us some problems locally,” Zumpf said. “We see our gauges in Darby and at Victor are all getting up to the point where we’ll have to pay some extra attention to them. They’re going to stay high over the next couple of days and then the next warm-up will occur, so by this weekend we could be above flood stage for both those gauges.”

The National Weather Service says the following rivers and streams will see the largest increase in flows this week, and will be watched more closely. They include the Bitterroot River in Missoula and Ravalli Counties, the Clark Fork River in Missoula, The Yaak River in Lincoln County, and the Flathead and Stillwater Rivers in Flathead County.

Meteorologist Dan Zumpf

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