Bitterroot River levels rising


HAMILTON, Mont. - With higher temperatures the Bitterroot River is running high and fast.

The Woodside Fishing Access west of Corvallis has flowed into the parking lot the same as it did a couple weeks ago.

Depending on where you are at in the valley the river is 1 1/2 feet to 2 feet below flood stage.

Ravalli County Emergency Management director Erik Hoover said by the end of the weekend we could see the highest levels we've seen so far this spring.

In some places he said it is "within a foot of flood stage, plus or minus."

Hoover doesn't expect the river to hit flood stage. But he said that water is cold, swift and it's no place for anyone to be on until it recedes.

"We are encouraging parents to talk with their kids about water safety and staying away from the Bitterroot when the water is this high," said Hoover. "It's a good time to think about those safety messages again for children and adults."

The Bitterroot has a lot of debris floating down which, coupled with its fast currents, makes its danger level extremely high.