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Milk River flooding in northeast Montana

Milk River flooding in northeast Montana

  • Updated

The Milk River rose to flood stage and beyond Thursday from Hinsdale to Glasgow and water along the Hi-Line is expected to keep rising through the weekend.

It probably won’t be the big crest for the ordinarily sluggish northeastern Montana river, but water is over roadways in some areas and is covering fields and rangeland along its course to the Missouri.

At Glasgow, feedlots on the outskirts of town are expected to be nearly isolated by rising waters and the city’s Sullivan Park will be under water.

The river surpassed its 25-foot flood stage in Glasgow on Wednesday and was at 28.2 feet Thursday afternoon. It is expected to crest there at 29.3 feet before starting to fall back. It will remain above flood stage at least until Monday, the National Weather Service said.

North of Tampico, the river is already flowing over roads, rendering some of them impassible. More roads will be washed out as flooding continues, according to the National Weather Service at Glasgow.

At several locations, the water is 10 inches deep on the roadways for distances of 300 yards, the weather service said.

Flood stage at Tampico is 25 feet. It will likely crest there at more than 26 feet this weekend. The flooding has inundated cropland and wooded areas along the river and threatens some ranch land. Flooding could cover gravel roads with 2 to 3 feet of water, the weather service warned.

At Nashua, flood stage is 20 feet. The Milk was at 18.41 feet and rising Thursday afternoon. It is predicted to crest at at 21.5 feet Sunday.

After this surge is flushed down river, residents can look forward to more and probably higher crests as record amounts of snow continue to melt out of the drainage.

Tributaries to the Milk are also being unruly. In the Saco area, Beaver Creek remains out of its banks to Hinsdale. Near Saco, flood waters are sloshing within a few feet of the Highway 2 roadbed. Larb Creek is flooding south of Saco, submerging gravel and dirt roads.

Willow and Brazil creeks are flooding and eroding roads in the Glasgow area. Antelope Creek west of Glasgow is rising and is expected to top its banks Friday.

Further north, Antelope Creek near Antelope is again over its 12-foot flood stage. It was at 13.13 feet Thursday afternoon.

Lorna Thackeray can be reached at 657-1314 or


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