Flooding hits Lake County

April 12, 2019

A popular rural road about 3 miles south of Charlo has fallen victim to flooding due to several days of rainfall and already dense ground moisture.

According to Lake County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Clary, floodwaters started running over the Dublin Gulch Road about 1 mile east of Montana 212 on Tuesday night, and the road “washed out completely” Wednesday morning.

The result was a gap about 150 feet long and 30 feet deep that left Dublin Gulch Road impassable. A video posted by Clary on Wednesday showed a “river of water’ flowing across the area where the pavement had been the day before. It showed trees being uprooted and flowing through the gap in the roadway.

“It’s fairly well traveled,” Clary said of Dublin Gulch Road. “It’s the main paved road between [Highway] 212 and [U.S.] 93.”

Barriers have been placed near the end of the north and south sides of the break in the pavement, and travelers are having to take alternate side roads around the damaged area.

“We’re figuring out the process of getting it repaired,” Clary said, but that will take considerable time. “It’s in a long-range [mode] right now.”

Clary said the abundant rain the first few weeks of spring has resulted in numerous “minor” washouts, and they’re being addressed by Lake County road crews.

With the abundant snow in February and March, the Lake County Commissioners anticipated possible flooding, and road crews have been prepared to address the issues that arise.

Clary is the Ronan Rural and City Fire Chief as well as the county’s Emergency Management Coordinator.