Wolf Point Herald

Montana ‘Monsoon’ Causes Flooding West Of Wolf Point



‘Sherman Reservoir’
This “lake” flooded several acres between the Wadopana Celebration grounds and the Sherman Inn parking lot, as seen from Rodeo Road, Monday, Aug. 25.  The second photo is water acumulating in the gutters in the intersection of Edgar Street and First Avenue South.  The third photo is a tree limb down on the 200 block of Dawson Street.  (Photos by John Plestina)

Four days of monsoonal weather with over five inches of rain in the Wolf Point area and more farther west resulted in various degrees of flooding, mostly west of Wolf Point.
The storm amounted to the fourth highest four-day rainfall total on record for Wolf Point with 5.5 inches recorded at L.M. Clayton Airport at Wolf Point, beginning during the evening hours of Thursday, Aug. 21.
Josh Barnwell, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Glasgow, said Tuesday, Aug. 26, that the August rainfall total for Wolf Point was 6.97 inches, well above the 1.13 normal reading for August. Glasgow also broke the August record for precipitation.
The totals east of Wolf Point were lower with 3.41 inches recorded about 20 miles south of Brockton in Richland County and 1.83 inches at Culbertson. There was no recorded measurement for Poplar. Nashua registered 5.1 inches.
The Missouri River at Wolf Point rose to 13.58 feet, well below flood stage of 23 feet.
According to the NWS, parts of Valley County were impacted with about eight inches of rain west of Glasgow to an area west of Malta.
“The highest amounts were around Malta and around Winnett in Petroleum County,” Barnwell said.
Tanja Fransen, warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS in Glasgow, reported low land flooding on the Milk River at Glasgow, where the river had been reported at 29.77 feet at 7 a.m., Monday, Aug. 25.
“They are going to hit flood stage in Nashua but it has go up another seven feet,” Fransen said.
The Milk River was at 12.9 feet Monday morning and was expected to reach 21.5 feet by Tuesday morning.
“That’s not extensive. It would have to reach 29 feet before it starts impacting the town of Nashua,” Fransen said.
The NWS reported early on Tuesday, Aug. 26, that the Milk River at Nashua was at 19 feet at 3:30 a.m., and was expected to crest at 23 feet by Tuesday evening. The NWS also reported the Milk at 31.74 feet at the Montana Hwy. 24 bridge near Glasgow at 3:40 a.m., Tuesday.
The Milk River was expected to crest at 22.9 feet at Dodson, which is just below the flood stage of 23.0 feet.
Flooding was reported on Cherry Creek west of Glasgow.
Flood warnings were issued for the Milk and Musselshell rivers and Beaver Creek.
An earthen dam broke in southern Valley County, washing out part of Willow Creek Road, an unpaved roadway.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if other earthen dams that are private dams washed out,” Fransen said.
Roosevelt County Disaster and Emergency Services director Dan Sietsema said no storm damage had been reported to his office.
One tree limb was down and partially in the roadway on the 200 block of Dawson Street in Wolf Point and some residents said they had basement flooding.
The rain event that caused the flooding is over, but more precipitation is in the forecast.
“Were looking pretty dry right now. The next chance of rain is Thursday into Friday morning, but it is a 20 percent chance. The next chance is Saturday afternoon, it’s about a 30 to 40 percent chance. Saturday afternoon and evening looks like the best chance as of right now,” Barnwell said.

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Fort Kipp Celebration

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The annual Fort Kipp Celebration, a pow-wow that is a celebration of native culture and traditions through dancing, food, crafts and fellowship, was held Thursday, Aug. 21, through Sunday, Aug. 24.   (Photos by John Plestina)

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Amtrak Train Hits Pickup Near Culbertson


Firefighters disconnect the battery in the pickup truck and search for fuel leaks in order to render the vehicle safe.   (Photo by Pat Drescher)

An eastbound Amtrak Empire Builder passenger train struck a pickup truck at a railroad crossing on Star Coulee Road, about four miles west of Bainville, Thursday, Aug. 21.
The Montana Highway Patrol, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, fire and rescue squads from Bainville and Culbertson, and ambulances from both communities, responded to the crossing just off U.S. Hwy. 2 at about 4 p.m.
The train crashed into the vehicle just behind the driver side door, according to Culbertson firefighter Pat Drescher.
The train was reported to have been able to stop about 100 yards down the track.
MHP trooper Jordan Gulick said the driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle and had been ejected upon impact.
Gulick confirmed that the pickup truck was owned by Waste Management and driven by an Arkansas man who has not been identified.
The man was transported by ambulance to Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson and later flown to a Bismarck, N.D., hospital. His condition was not known Tuesday, Aug. 26. Law enforcement sources reported that he was alive.
Gulick said the driver was ejected from the truck.
The crossing was marked by a railroad crossing sign, but there was no signal.
Gulick responded to a question of whether the driver attempted to beat the train.
“I’ve yet to talk to the driver because of his injuries but that’s what a witness told me,” he said. “I cant imagine he never saw it.”
Gulick said the driver will be cited for disobeying the railroad crossing sign.
Mike Olson of the Culbertson Fire Department said in addition to the response by both Bainville and Culbertson fire and ambulances, fire and rescue personnel from Froid were on standby.
He said the Amtrak train did not sustain any damage.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the train with 264 passengers was delayed for two hours and two minutes. There were no injuries on board.
Waste Management spokesman Robert Kidwell said driver of the pickup sustained non-life threatening and has been released from the Bismarck hospital.
He said the driver was en route to North Dakota.
“We’re just thankful that the injuries were not life threatening and non one on the train was injured as a result of the accident,” Kidwell said.

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First Day


Children throughout the area were back in school Wednesday, Aug. 20. This thundering herd is Northside Elementary School children getting off a bus shortly before 8 a.m.  (Photo by John Plestina)

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Three Of 14 New MHP Troopers Assigned To Roosevelt County


From left to right: Adams, Schuler and Timmins.

The Montana Highway Patrol commissioned 14 new troopers, Friday, Aug. 22, at the 57th Advanced Academy Graduation ceremony. Three will work in Roosevelt County.
Members of the 57th academy class included Seth Adams and Stephannie-Colleen Timmins, both assigned to Wolf Point, and Derek Schuler, assigned to Culbertson.
Adams is from Bozeman. He was awarded the camp commander award and for physical fitness at the academy.
Timmins is also from Bozeman.
Schuler, from Apple Valley, Calif.
Gov. Steve Bullock addressed the graduates, which took place at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena.
Attorney General Tim Fox said, “Now more than ever, we’re reminded that law enforcement is an inherently dangerous profession. These men and women will place themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis as part of the routine duties of their profession. I thank them for their sacrifice and commitment to serving all Montanans and keeping our roadways safe.”
Other members of the 57th academy class included: Trever Chase, assigned to Hardin, from Helena; Joshua French, assigned to Hardin, from Harrisburg, Pa.; Ryan Janes, assigned to Superior, from Florence; Lewis Johnson, assigned to Broadus, from Chester; Benjamin Kecskes, assigned to Glendive, from Helena; Kristy Kees, assigned to Glendive, from Missoula; Thomas Manz, assigned to Kalispell, from Seattle, Wash.; David Morris, assigned to Billings, from Bozeman; Joshua Nanna, assigned to Kalispell, from Whitefish; Alicia Williams, assigned to Kalispell, from Great Falls; and Michael Williams, assigned to Ryegate, is from Baileys Harbor, Wis.

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