Ravalli County Enters ‘Emergency’ Status
The Ravalli County Commissioners, upon the advice of their emergency and public works officials, have declared that "an emergency exists in Ravalli County." The three-member commission passed Resolution 3902 Thursday morning, which activates parts of the local emergency plan and authorizes further aid and assistance, along with opening sources of additional funding. This follows days of heavy amounts of snowfall, dangerous and blocked roads and closed schools. In fact, the commission called valley schools Wednesday, February 27, asking them to close Thursday, February 28, because county and state road crews could not clear all bus routes. There were reports of buses becoming stuck Wednesday. The county road department also had mechanical problems with two of their snowplows Wednesday. Schools did close Thursday.
But the emergency declaration also addresses what could happen in the coming weeks - potential significant flooding in Ravalli County. Commissioner Greg Chilcott said that if the temperatures warm at a rapid rate over the frozen ground (which is covered with over two feet of snow), there will be flooding throughout the valley, not just along the rivers. The county had flooding in the Victor area in recent years in a similar scenario.