Ravalli Co. road crews repair most washouts


HAMILTON, Mont. - Flood water is receding in Ravalli County. But it's still rushing fast in some of the hardest hit areas like Middle Burnt Fork Road east of Stevensville.

It's been a busy week for the Ravalli County Road Department. Crews have repaired most washouts.

Excess water was too much for many culverts to handle so it washed over roadways.

Winter storms and a flood in February made for a tight road department budget.

Department administrator John Horat estimates the cost of repairs after this flood event will be about $15,000.

"We can handle that in our operating budget," he said. "The snow plowing kind of kicked us over, but this particular event we can handle. But if we start looking at upgrades and things and capital to get bridges in or larger culverts then we may have to get creative and find some funds."

Horat said many drainage systems aren't set up to handle the excessive water that passed through. He expects damage costs to be more severe for private property owners than for the county.