• Hydrologic Outlook issued by NWS
  • 1-2" of rain possible for Billings
  • Over 2" for Eastern Montana is possible

Many Montanans in south-central areas of the state are a bit gun-shy about flooding this spring after a once-in-a-lifetime flood devastated communities from Gardiner to Red Lodge. Communities like Nye, Fromberg, and Absarokee also saw extensive damage and many trails have not been repaired yet on popular public land areas in the Custer National Forest.

The economic impact of the flood damage in these gateway towns made things difficult for many mom-and-pop Montana shops that already rely on a short burst of summer tourism. Last year, it was largely quashed by washed-out roads, campgrounds, and services in popular tourist destinations like Yellowstone National Park. Not to mention all the homeowners who lost residences or suffered flood damage.

attachment-fromberg flooded - jr

Hopefully not a repeat of 2022.

The National Weather Service, Billings has issued a Hydrologic Outlook alert stating 1 - 2 inches of rain are likely in the Billings area from Wednesday evening through Friday. The higher elevation mountains may get 6 - 12" of snow. The expected combination of warm-ish temperatures and heavy rain at lower altitudes is uncomfortably similar to 2022. The NWS wrote,

Heavy rain could fall on existing snow in the foothills below 8
thousand feet, which could lead to even faster water rises. Where
the heaviest precipitation falls will determine which rivers and
streams see the most significant rises. At the moment, areas of the
Beartooth and Red Lodge foothills, locations around the Pryor
mountains, and areas of Yellowstone and Musselshell county, look
like the most likely location for the heaviest rainfall, and
therefore, the highest possibility of flooding.

Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media
Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media

As of Monday evening (5/8), KULR8 is reporting the heaviest rainfalls should occur from Billing to Sheridan eastward and in northeastern Montana. Over at Q2, they're predicting parts of Eastern Montana could get up to four inches of rain, with minimal chances of hail or extreme winds. Fingers crossed on the hail. And the flooding.

LOOK: Historic 2022 Flooding in Southern Montana Not Soon to Be Forgotten

Widespread flooding wiped out roads, bridges, buildings, and powerlines throughout riverside communities from Yellowstone National Park and Paradise Valley to Red Lodge. The Yellowstone River winding through Billings crested Tuesday, June 14, 2022. At 11:30 a.m. the National Weather Service in Billings reported the river rose above flood stage and was forecasted to hit 14.7 feet, nearly hitting the 15-foot record set in 1997.

Yellowstone National Park Rebuilds After Historic Flooding

After catastrophic flooding damaged portions of Yellowstone National Park in June of 2022, major reconstruction was necessary to make the park passable again. The following are photos of the improvement projects at Old Gardiner Road and the Northeast Entrance Road. All photos are courtesy of the National Park Service, photographer Jacob W. Frank.

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