The Bitterroot River has gone into "high water" stage with lots of muddy debris washing down the channels, but it is not yet into official flood stage. There are two official river gauges on the river - one south of Darby near Conner and the other at Bell Crossing near Victor. The Conner gauge showed the river level two feet below the 7.5 foot flood stage. Monday morning it was at 5.25 feet. The Bell Crossing gauge showed the level Monday morning at 8.41 feet, below flood stage at 11 feet. The river will rise with the warmer weather and officials are arranging sand and sandbag dispersal areas, according to Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton.

The residents are responsible for filling and transporting their sandbags, but bags and sand will be available at these county sites:

  • Hamilton - northeast corner of the Ravalli County Fairgrounds.
  • Victor - Victor Fire Station.
  • Corvallis - Corvallis Fire Station 2 at Mile Marker 9 on East Side Highway north of Corvallis
  • Stevensville - West Side Fire Station behind Subway at the Wye on US 93.
  • Florence - Florence Fire Station off Holloway Lane.
  • Holton said if you come across a flooded roadway, "Turn Around, Don't Drown." Then, call the Ravalli County Road Department at 363-2733 or the Sheriff's Office at 363-3033 to report the bad road. If it is a life-threatening situation, of course call 911.

    As the flood season continues, another number to remember is the Ravalli County Office of Emergency Management at 375-6655.

    Be careful out there.

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