MISSOULA - Missoula residents who live in the Orchard Homes area remain under an evacuation order, according to the Missoula County Sheriff's Office.
An evacuation order is now in effect for the following areas:
Tower Street, North of 3 rd Street
Nancy Lou Drive
Keck Street and Stone Street – north of Flamingo Drive
Off Mullan Road
Due to danger from flooding conditions, residents are being ordered to evacuate immediately. Residents affected by the order are asked to check in at the information trailer set up in the Wheat Montana parking lot on the corner of 3 rd and Reserve streets.
A combination of a very large snowpack and recent precipitation has resulted in early season flooding. Water levels at the Clark Fork river gauge above Missoula are currently expected to crest Thursday evening through Friday afternoon at 13.29 feet (major flooding).
Over 230 homes in Missoula north o 3rd Street between Reserve and Clements were notified by the Sheriff's Office for evacuation warnings. These structures were identified as needing immediate warning information.
The Sheriff's Office and Missoula County Search and Rescue will continue working in Orchard Homes and Seeley Lake assessing the area. The Army Corps of Engineers will also be working to assess the levy in the Orchard Homes area and continue assessments in the Seeley Lake area.
Residents are strongly advised to make emergency preparations to evacuate, as flood waters are expected to rise quickly. If evacuation orders are issued, time is limited to leave your residence, so make final preparations now. Self-evacuation is recommended as time may be limited for emergency responders to make notifications.
A Red Cross emergency shelter is located at Christ the King Church, 1400 Gerald Avenue in Missoula. For more information call 406-258-4636.
The Sheriff's Office is asking evacuees to check in at the information trailer in the parking lot of Wheat Montana and Natural Grocers.
Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Brenda Bassett says even if you aren't under a mandatory evacuation order, residents in problem areas should self-evacuate.
"That window for preparations is closing for a lot of people, so we always again stress self evacuations and that's a big message for us today...if you evacuate yourself you don't put your family at risk, you don't put first responders at risk and you have that opportunity to get you know your valuables out your pets out and whatever you need to do," Bassett said.
For displaced and evacuated animals in need of sheltering due to flooding, call Missoula County Animal Control at (406) 541-7387.
Volunteers can also register online to help assist with sandbagging.