Brief rainstorm leaves scattered effects

2009-06-18T00:00:00Z Brief rainstorm leaves scattered effectsZACH BENOIT Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
June 18, 2009 12:00 am  • 

Depending on where you were when a brief rainstorm hit the Billings area Wednesday evening, it was either a heavy downpour or nearly dry.

Bryan Schuknecht, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Billings office, said about half an inch was recorded at the NWS offices on the West End. The airport reported .03 inches, and the city water treatment plant recorded only trace amounts of rain.

"It's a pretty widespread storm," he said. "It was a real good soaker, but it was pretty hit-or-miss."

The storm, which hit town at about 5 p.m., was heavy enough to close at least one busy road. Billings police officers had to put up barricades to block traffic on the Sixth Street West underpass because of flooding, Sgt. Neil Lawrence said. Several feet of water on the road created enough of a hazard to warrant the decision, he said, and one car got stuck in the water and had to be towed out.

The city street department will keep an eye on the underpass until the water recedes enough to clear out the drains, which may be clogged, Lawrence said.

Across the state, Bozeman recorded 0.45 inches of rain, Red Lodge saw 0.23 inches and Sidney, Hobson and Hysham all saw just under one-tenth of an inch. Superior recorded a state-high 0.58 inches of rain Wednesday. High temperatures were mostly in the 70s and low 80s, with much of the northeastern part of the state in the high 80s. Wolf Point registered a state high of 90.

Schuknecht said a little more rain is expected today in Billings, with a high of around 75 degrees, but that the storm should pass over by Friday, when the forecast is sunny with a high in the low 80s.

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