John Daggett and his son Ed knew they wouldn’t be returning home when they left Monday morning.
The road they take to get from their home eight miles southwest of Glasgow to town was covered with water that came up to the door of Daggett’s 3/4-ton pickup truck.
By the time he got off work and his 14-year-old son was out of school, the water was up to his bumper.
“The road had gotten too deep for our liking,” said Daggett, a project manager at Fort Peck Dam.
Luckily, they were prepared. Both packed enough clothes and other personal items to last through the flooding, which he said is projected to last a couple of weeks.
The father and son are staying at the Star Lodge Motel in Glasgow. Daggett’s wife, Sheri, is working from home and keeping an eye on their farm animals.
“It’s a unique experience,” Daggett said.
Daggett didn’t stay in town just for work. He’s also a member of the Flood Task Force, which meets each Monday to plan ahead for the flooding.
Waters have risen around the area for weeks. On average, the area sees 30 inches of snow each year. Some places in the Glasgow area received as much as 105 inches.
Tanja Fransen with the National Weather Service said the Saco flats have remained underwater for almost three weeks. About 12 roads are covered, limiting access to homes.
There haven’t been any evacuation orders issued or shelters set up, but Fransen said that hasn’t stopped some, like Daggett, from leaving on their own.
“There are people who have either moved themselves into town and are staying in hotels or are camped out at their house to be there at least two weeks,” Fransen said. “They are working off their laptops from home.”
Fransen said with most homes built up on a berm, the floodwater collects in the driveways surrounding the house. Some homeowners have improvised, using a boat to get from their home to the road where their car is parked.
“There are quite a few places I saw Monday with a boat parked next to mailboxes,” said Drew Markle, co-owner of Markle’s Ace Hardware in Glasgow. “I think a lot of people are really well prepared for this. It’s not that deep, it’s just everywhere.”
Water did get into the basements of some homes in Glasgow last week, creating a demand for sump pumps.
“We definitely sold a lot more pumps this year because of this, and all the related sorts of things like drain tile, pipes and pipe fittings,” Markle said. “We had a warm streak here about a month ago and had a good run on them, too.”
The store sold a year’s worth of pumps since the flooding began, which has also caused a drop in gardening-related sales.
“By this time last year I sold probably four pallets of soil and at least a pallet of fertilizer,” he said. “It’s nonexistent really.”
The Milk River is expected to crest at 31.4 feet in the Glasgow area by Friday morning, Fransen said. The river level will remain stable through Saturday and then drop one or two-tenths of a foot.
It’s expected to crest again by 6 a.m. April 21.
The river near Nashua will crest at 28.8 feet at midnight Friday before dropping again over the weekend. It’s expected to rise again, and even higher, by 5 p.m. April 21.
The river near Tampico is said to crest by Wednesday night into Thursday morning at 28.8 feet, then slowly fall over the weekend and rise again by Tuesday.
“While the water is the highest its been in quite some time, it’s going to get higher by the end of next week,” Fransen said.
With the Milk River so full, the creeks and streams that feed it have begun to back up. Fransen said Antelope Creek and Cherry Creek started running Tuesday morning and are starting to spread into the flats.
“They are back-filling where they would normally meet he river,” Fransen said.
Fransen said water from the reservoirs in Canada has been adding to the problem as creeks and streams to the north start flowing. She said Battle Creek was flowing out of its banks five miles north of Chinook on Tuesday.
A few roads in Daniels County are closed because the Poplar River has also risen in the past two days.