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Musselshell River floodwaters lower than expected, but Roundup remains on alert

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 18:18:11-04

ROUNDUP – As of two days ago, the outlook for Roundup was a decidedly soggy one.

A forecasted peak of the Musselshell River had county Department of Emergency Services agents preparing for their highest water levels of the season.

Ultimately that peak came in lower than expected, which lessened the damage in the region.

Early projections forecast the river to peak at 11.5 feet in Roundup. As the crest rolled through the city this afternoon, observed peaks showed the water level at only 10.5 feet.

But the impacts of a rainy spring are still being felt, as two months of high water levels have placed a tremendous burden on farmers and ranchers dealing with inundated fields.

Residents of the area have also been dealing with river water on county roads and bank erosion of at least two other roadways.

As of Friday afternoon, the 4H road as well as the Melstone/Custer road are impassible. The DES is monitoring these situations and says their priority lies with Melstone/Custer road because the current detour has residents driving outside the county to bypass the extra water.

Road crews are also paying particular attention to Highway 12 west at Eliason Hill, where the fast-flowing river running out of its banks is eroding the hillside creating the potential for destabilization of the road.

County DES Coordinator Justin Russell said that the river has rerouted its banks in places over the course of the season and until water levels recede there is no way of knowing the full extent of the flooding impacts.