Livingston declares state of emergency

2014-03-06T10:55:00Z 2014-03-07T07:28:05Z Livingston declares state of emergencyBy CHRIS CIOFFI ccioffi@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

The city of Livingston declared a state of emergency on Thursday after melting snow flooded creeks and ditches and sent water running down city streets.

The flooding began at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, forcing dozens of residents to flee a condominium building.

Residents of the south side

of Livingston were encouraged to sandbag in front of their homes, and the Livingston City Center was open to those who were evacuated due to the flooding.

Warm temperatures over the past several days have caused snow from last week’s strong storm to melt.

“There’s nowhere for that water to go because the ground is frozen,” Aaron Gilstad, a NWS meteorologist in Billings, said. “A lot of the culverts have frozen up, which would normally help get that water out of the area.”

The town went from negative temperatures to temperatures in the 40s, which created rapid snowmelt on the upper regions around Livingston, said Ed Meece, city manager.

Fleshman Creek overflowed near Park Street, a main thoroughfare in town.

“From Park Street to the Yellowstone River on Ninth Street to 12th Street, we have high water,” Meece said.

Temporary barriers were set up by volunteers to attempt to hold back the water.

“We are sandbagging continuously,” Meece said.

The Livingston Irrigation Ditch that runs through Livingston near North N Street also overflowed in several places.

“We are working the ditch on both ends to make sure it stays open,” he said.

The Montana Red Cross has opened a shelter in Livingston in the Livingston Civic Center, at 229 River Drive.

Livingston residents looking for updates on flooding may call 223-0165 or check the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Park-County-Mon

tana/192955607386218

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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