Butte-Silver Bow keeps watch on rainstorms and rising water


BUTTE, Mont. - Butte is already seeing flooding in some areas. Officials say they've seen a rapid rise in water, Black Tail Creek is up almost a foot since last night. Part of the Ulrich-Shotte Nature trail that runs under Harrison Avenue is flooded. The trail starts at Sheehan Park and runs through Butte neighborhoods east of the interstate. When it comes to the Ulrich-Shotte Trail, Bernie Orlando has seen it all. "I try to get out here everyday, some days I take a rest," said Butte Resident Bernie Orlando. He was surprised to see part of the trail that runs under Harrison Avenue was closed today. "I walked it yesterday," he said. "But I guess with that heavy rain we got last night, it flooded over because now you'd have to use a boat to get through there." He's talking about the rainstorm that hit Butte Friday evening, and he's right. The creek rose almost a foot since Thursday. "It was a really heavy rainstorm," said Sheriff Ed Lester. "For probably about thirty minutes, so it put down a lot of water and we're anticipating about 3/4 to an inch of rain today possibly" Lester said the city has been keeping an eye on the rising water levels in the Big Hole river and Black Tail Creek that runs along the Ulrich-Shotte Trail. "It did see some rapid rise yesterday," said Lester. "And that's what's causing the issue with the walkway on Harrison Avenue." Even with all the rain, the U.S Geological Survey website reports both rivers are below flood stage. Still, Sheriff Lester said keep watch on the weather, there's more rain to come. "So that's something for people to be concerned if they're in low areas if they're near waterways or even on roadways in low areas," he said. Lester wants to remind drivers to avoid streams in the road from flooding and to pay attention to changing flood warnings and watches for the area. And for Orlando, it means he'll have to keep a close eye on his favorite trail. "But so far, it's been great," Orlando said.