Overnight water rescue along the Hi-Line (video)

Posted at 11:06 AM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 13:06:01-04

(GREAT FALLS) Matt McCollam of Kalispell and his brother Seth were driving home from North Dakota on Tuesday night when they came across a woman who was fighting for her life in flood waters along Highway 2 east of Shelby.

McCollam shared the following information:

Let me start by saying he would never post something like this and would most likely not even tell people about it, but those that know my brother Seth know he’s a stud and the first person to act when someone is in need, we were traveling home last night from North Dakota after our 2 week work hitch, there is a ton of ground water from snow melt off and sections of hwy 2 had water flowing over the highway, most were fairly shallow and only required slowing down to 15 mph to safely cross ,, but as we approached Dunkirk there was a much larger and much deeper section that covered the highway, as we slowly started to drive through it we noticed a car about 40 yards off the highway that appeared at first glance had been left after someone had driven into the water, as we got closer we could see it was sinking, we said we have to see if someone is in that car, i shut off the diesel and there was a woman screaming for help from the car, now keep in mind this is around midnight with temps in the 20’s and water temp around 34° , without hesitation Seth jumps into the water and swims to the car and brings the lady back to the truck, by this time the car was almost completely submerged, he got her into the truck and gave her a blanket to warm up, we drove her up the highway and left her safely with her husband.

We will update you if we get more information about the situation.

McCollam shies away from praise for himself and his brother, but said that if anyone would like to do something nice in honor of their life-saving efforts, he invites them to make a contribution to a fundraiser to benefit TJ Cooper of Evergreen, who was recently involved in a logging accident. Click here for more information.

The Milk River near Harlem is expected to gradually rise to 25 feet through early next week. The river is forecast to remain above Moderate Flood Stage into next week, possibly reaching Major Flood for a time. Keep in mind at 23ft escape routes for livestock may be cut off and at 24ft flooding of homes and streets are possible in Harlem and Chinook. Flooding will continue to affect areas around Havre, as the Milk River remains above flood stage. The most impacts from the current flooding are expected on the north side of Havre.

Another area of concern is Big Sandy Creek. A few roads including Road 50 has been washed out and flooding will continue to affect this area for the next few days. It will take days before the creek falls below flood stage. 

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