Yellowstone County agencies prepare for potential flooding - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Yellowstone County agencies prepare for potential flooding

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

The river level currently sits at 12.5 feet, but the river is expected to rise another four feet over the weekend, causing several agencies to be on alert. DES Director Brad Shoemaker makes it clear, the Billings area needs to brace for what is expected to be record breaking flooding.

"Looking at the long-term forecast into the middle of next week, we're seeing a significant rise through minor, moderate, and all the way into the major flood stage," Shoemaker said. "Which, to be quite honest, is above the highest level ever recorded on the Yellowstone River at Billings."

Many people look to sandbags to help protect their homes, especially ones along the river. David Kojetin is the plumbing manager for Ace Hardware in West End Billings. He said he knows of certain hardware stores that are selling sandbags fast.

"The Ace Hardware store in Laurel has already sold a truckload of sand."

KULR-8 headed to the Road and Bridge Department located on King Avenue East and met up with Tim Miller, the public works director for Yellowstone County. Miller said the department is deploying sand throughout the county for the general public to use. He urges people not to procrastinate.

"If you think there is a chance of flooding, I'd move everything that I could that was easily moveable out of the way and then try and be as prepared as possible," Miller said.

Miller said the Road and Bridge Department can provide the sand and the bags for you. As for filling the bags, he recommends you bring a shovel and two to three people.

"A lot of times, the water will pull in certain low-lying areas," Miller added. "You can dam those off and keep them from creeping up to your house."

Blue Creek Volunteer Fire Department is one of the four locations the YCRBD has chosen to place sand and sandbags for the public for those in need.

Kojetin said you might need more items, such as flood barriers or pumps and hoses to protect your home.

"The most important thing is having been through the floods in 2011, you want to protect your home."

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