Rancher prepares after flood warning in Wheatland County - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Rancher prepares after flood warning in Wheatland County

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Wheatland County. According to the NWS, Musselshell River is at 6.85 feet, which is considered to be in the minor flood stage.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Musselshell River near Shawmut as of 11:15 Thursday morning.

KULR-8 spoke with local rancher Colleen Smith who owns property just south of Shawmut. She said she has been keeping a close eye on the flooding.

"The river has been out of its banks for the last 24 hrs, the low spots have already been filling up with water," Smith said. "Anybody driving up and down Highway 12 here, especially between Shawmut and Harlowton, can see that the water is coming up."

Smith said her house, Hay fields, corrals, and barns are located right off the Musselshell River. She said being prepared is a must.

"Because we have our corrals and holding pastures, barn, shop, and house right on the river, we always have to make sure we do things like move livestock and our equipment," Smith said. "We also need to make sure that we are ready for some pumps going in, in expectation of high water."

The rancher said having to move her cattle onto the Hayfield will be costly, but it won't be anything compared to losing her ranch if she and her family are not taking precautionary measures.

"In 2011, we lost all of our corrals, many fences," Smith said. "It was pretty catastrophic then. Hopefully we don't see that again anytime soon, but it's always in the back of your mind.

Smith said spring flooding happens every year. She believes Wheatland county will get through this.

"The people up here are pretty resilient," Smith said. "We're used to taking care of ourselves and dealing with matters ourselves and we will live through this too. NWS advises people to prepare for flooding impacts. They say Musselshell will remain above flood stage until next week."

NWS advises people to prepare for flooding impacts. They say Musselshell will remain above flood stage until next week. They also say that if you encounter flooded roads, turn around - don't drown.

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