No local river flooding seen, despite reports

 

Despite statewide reports of flooding on the Tongue River at Miles City, no evidence has been found of it.

Public Works Director Scott Gray said the city is currently monitoring the rivers and dike.

“The Tongue River has come up a little, just a little,” Gray said.

According to the United States Geological Survey’s Web site, the Yellowstone River is slowly approaching 8 feet. Thirteen feet is the beginning of the flood stage. 

The Tongue River at Decker is rising and is at nearly 11 feet, which is considered normal for this time of year.

As a caution for this time of year, the city crews are making sure the four outflow pipes (two on the Tongue River and two on the Yellowstone) in the area are closed. The pipes take storm water to the rivers and are designed so that water can flow only one way, that way river water won’t back up into the storm drain system. 

Sometimes debris and sticks might jam it open but that is not a problem now.

The two large “bladder bags,” which prevent flooding of the Waste Water Treatment Plant, have been aired up and ready for higher water, Gray said.

The cooler day Friday “will definitely help slow down the water flow ... because it slows down the ice melt.” he said.

Right now the crews are thawing out the inlets, where the water drains from the intersections, so they will drain properly.

Potholes are always a problem this time of year and getting the streets dried out helps prevent more potholes from forming.

The crews have been using milling material to fill a lot of the potholes, but the ground is too cold for the milling material to adhere, so sometimes it doesn’t last.

“More (potholes) pop up every day,” he said.

He explained the ground repeatedly freezing and thawing also contributes to potholes. Currently there are areas of town that have four to five feet of frost.