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'Nervous again': As Rock Creek rises again in Red Lodge, officials insist flood risk is low

'Nervous again': As Rock Creek rises again in Red Lodge, officials insist flood danger is low
Posted at 10:22 AM, Jun 10, 2024

RED LODGE — As temperatures rise this week, so do the water levels of Rock Creek in Red Lodge, which saw historic flooding two years ago on June 13.

This is causing some concern for local residents who fear another flood may happen.

“I can’t guarantee that nothing’s going to happen, but I feel very comfortable that what’s going to happen won’t resemble what we’ve seen in the past,” said the Red Lodge Mayor Dave Westwood. “There’s a little bit of PTSD and they see the water rising and people get concerned and they get nervous again.”

'Nervous again': As Rock Creek rises again in Red Lodge, officials insist flood danger is low

While there is no significant amount of rain in the forecast during the warm temperatures that are causing spring runoff and rising water levels that contributed to the 2022 flooding, Westwood said city, county, state and national agencies have implemented new processes if another flood occurs.

“We have multiple agencies working together. We’re touching base regularly, we’re communicating. We all have each other's contact information. We’re monitoring the situation. Right now, they have not given us any indication for concern,” he said. “We’ll utilize the siren that folks in town are used to hearing go off at noon every day for about 10 seconds, it's going to sound different. Probably going to be three cycles of it or certainly something of a different tone than what they’re used to hearing.”

'Nervous again': As Rock Creek rises again in Red Lodge, officials insist flood danger is low

Westwood said residents should also be signed up for Carbon Alert and CodeRED.

On Thursday, Westwood said a drone flew over Rock Creek to verify that there are spaces that may be breached by rising water. But Westwood is confident in the construction crews' work to fix the spots damaged in 2022, such as the section of road across from Rotary Park, which was wiped away during the flooding.

'Nervous again': As Rock Creek rises again in Red Lodge, officials insist flood danger is low

“You can also see across the bank that the fence is twice as high as what it used to be. So that gives us, there’s a significant amount of error between where the water level is and where the road level is,” he said.

If anyone does see rapid changes in water levels or any concerning situation, Westwood asks that they immediately report it to the Carbon County sheriff's dispatch at 406-446-1234.