Billings' record-smashing day and Eastern Montana rain gauge totals

2011-05-25T08:40:00Z 2011-05-25T23:25:24Z Billings' record-smashing day and Eastern Montana rain gauge totalsBy LORNA THACKERAY Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette

Billings led the state Tuesday with a record-smashing 3.12 inches of rain — the rainiest day in Billings' recorded history. But other areas of Eastern Montana were also deluged.

In Golden Valley County where the Musselshell River is surging dangerously out of its banks, storm totals are adding up quickly. Areas around Ryegate had between 1.5 and 2 inches as of Tuesday morning. In neighboring Wheatland County, rain gauges collected between 1.29 and 1.81 inches. In Musselshell County, some areas around Roundup had 1.5 inches of rain.

At Fort Smith in Big Horn County 1.74 inches had already fallen by Tuesday morning and 1.20 inches was reported in the Wolf Mountains.

Stillwater County was also posting some impressive amounts — 1.77 inches near Absarokee; 1.75 near Park City; and 1.29 inches near Nye. In Sweet Grass County, 1.30 inches was reported near Big Timber.

Most of these totals do not include all the rain that fell Tuesday.

In Billings the rain total for Tuesday broke not only the daily record for May 24, but the all-time record for daily rainfall. The old record was 2.91 on Jun 8, 1997.

The Yellowstone River remains in its banks at Billings, despite the heavy rainfall. Flood stage in Billings is 13 feet. It was at 10.81 feet Wednesday morning and forecast to begin falling.

The Yellowstone remains above flood stage at Forsyth, Miles City and Glendive, but was falling. The Little Bighorn River at Hardin also is in retreat.

Lorna Thackeray can be reached at 657-1314 or lthackeray@billingsgazette.com

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