A popular rural road about three miles south of Charlo fell victim to flooding the middle of last week due to several days of rainfall and already dense ground moisture.
According to Lake County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Clary, flood waters started running over the Dublin Gulch Road about one mile east of Montana Highway 212 on Tuesday night, April 9 and the road “washed out completely” Wednesday morning, April 10 during the 8 o’clock hour.
The result was a gap about 150 feet long and 30 feet deep that left Dublin Gulch Road impassable — just west of Curlew Drive, where the roadway goes down a hill, across the gulch and up a hill on the west side. A video posted by Clary the morning of April 10 showed a “river of water’ flowing across the area where the pavement had been the day before. It showed trees being uprooted and flowing through the gap in the roadway.
“It’s fairly well traveled,” Clary said of Dublin Gulch Road. “It’s the main paved road between [Highway} 212 and [U.S. Highway] 93.”
Barriers have been placed near the end of the pavement on both sides of the break, and travelers are having to take alternate side roads around the damaged area.
“We’re figuring out the process of getting it repaired,” Clary said, but that will take considerable time. “It’s in long range [mode] right now.”
Clary said the abundant rain the first few weeks of spring has resulted in numerous “minor” washouts, and they’re being addressed by Lake County road crews.
With the abundant snow in February and March, the Lake County Commissioners anticipated possible flooding, and road crews have been prepared to address the issues that arise. Emergency funding was to be used to address the damage.
Clary is the Ronan Rural and City Fire Chief as well as the county’s Emergency Management Coordinator.