BILLINGS – Swollen rivers and impassable roads left hundreds of people cut off in rural areas of Montana on Monday, while in neighboring Wyoming members of the National Guard joined the fight to protect two towns threatened by high water.
Authorities warned the flooding could get worse with more rain and snow expected early today.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock declared a flood emergency late Monday after forecasters put 30 of the state’s 56 counties under some type of high water warning.
Musselshell County in central Montana appeared to be hardest hit: Dirt roads in rural areas turned to mud, some bridges were blocked by high water and the Musselshell River threatened to overcome protective dikes in Roundup.
Warm weather over the past week unleashed massive amounts of water from record snowfalls that have blanketed the region. That pushed many streams and rivers over their banks, authorities said.
Impassable roads cut off about 350 people south and east of Roundup, Musselshell County disaster coordinator Jeff Gates said.
In Wyoming, guard members stacked up sandbags in Manderson and Greybull.