Rock Creek floods breach banks and bridges at Red Lodge | News

Update: June 13 at 10:09

Here is a press release from the American Red Cross in Montana:

The American Red Cross of Montana has opened an evacuation shelter at Red Lodge Fairgrounds, 96 Rodeo Drive, for those displaced by area floods.

The floods forced evacuations, closed roads in the Red Lodge area and washed away bridges.

Red Cross shelters provide meals, a safe place to stay, information and access to other community resources. Everyone is welcome at the Red Cross Shelter, and all services are free. The Red Cross does not discriminate on the basis of nationality, race, religious beliefs, class, disability, political opinions, sexual orientation or gender identity. No reservations required. Service animals are welcome.

The Montana Red Cross urges everyone to be prepared in the event of flooding in your area. Follow the steps below to keep your family safe.

before the flood

Prepare in advance

Assemble your emergency preparedness kit, which should include a battery-powered or manual radio, non-perishable food, water, flashlight, first aid kit, emergency blanket, medication, and copies of your personal documents. To see the full list, visit

Create a home emergency plan and practice as many elements of that plan as possible. This includes outlining the responsibilities of each member of your family and how you will work together as a team.

Stay informed about response plans and risks in your community.

Download the free Red Cross Emergency app for iPhone or Android.

Right before the flood

Listen to your local radio, NOAA radio, or TV stations for the latest information.

Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your ways. Find emergency shelter.

Check your emergency kit and replenish any items that are in short supply such as medicines.

If you have the time, do this too

Fill the fuel tank in your car.

Bring your outdoor belongings, such as patio furniture, indoors.

Turn off propane tanks to reduce the possibility of fire.

Move your furniture and valuables to the upper floors of your home.

Turn off utilities if required to do so by the authorities to prevent damage to your home. If you turn the gas off, a professional will have to turn it back on.

Unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage from electrical surges that may occur.

If you have pets or livestock

Consider a precautionary evacuation of your animals, especially larger animals.

Where possible, move livestock to higher ground. If you are using a horse or trailer to evacuate your animals, move sooner rather than later.

Bring your pets indoors and maintain direct control over them. Make sure your pet emergency kit is ready to go in the event of an evacuation.

during a flood

Stay safe indoors

Turn off the electricity and water if instructed to do so by the local authorities.

Boil the tap water until the water sources are safe.

Avoid contact with flood water. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain insects or dangerous animals.

Keep listening to local area radio, NOAA Radio, or TV stations for the latest information and updates.

Do not use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.

Dispose of any food that comes into contact with flood waters.

Staying Safe Outdoors

Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Only six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you down and two feet will float to the roof of the car.

If you are stuck on a flooded road with the water level rising rapidly, get out of the vehicle quickly and move to higher ground.

Do not walk on the banks of rivers.

Do not allow children to play in or near flood waters.

Avoid contact with flood water. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain insects or dangerous animals.

Stay away from flood-prone areas such as tunnels, cliffs and valleys.

after a flood

Let friends and family know you are safe.

If you are evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.

Keep children and pets away from dangerous locations and flood waters

know the difference

Flood / flash flood monitoring means that a flash flood or flood is possible. A flash/flood warning means that a flash flood or flood has already occurred or will occur soon.

For more information on how to prepare for and respond to floods, visit

Red Lodge, Mont. Red Lodge Fire Rescue warns residents not to breach or endanger riverbanks and bridges due to flooding and rising waters in Rock Creek.

In a video posted to Facebook, Tom Koontz, chief of the fire department, RLFR, said they are starting to see holes in the Rock Creek bank and at the western Rock Creek junction in several locations.

The floods have penetrated or washed away many bridges including the East Side Road south of Red Lodge. The bridge on the north side has been breached, Koontz said, and they believe the bridge on the south side is vulnerable.

The 19th Street and 9th Street bridges were swept into Red Lodge.

Floods penetrated the banks of the Rock Creek River by the red box wagon south of Highway 308. Koontz said they noticed erosion on the edges of the bank north of Highway 308.

Koontz said the water level is likely to rise further, and they have put in place mandatory evacuations from 19th Street, 14th Street and East Broadway, including Kaineau Street, Rock Creek Island and the park bypass.

Koontz said they are advising the public to avoid the area.

“Everyone wants to go down and see Rock Creek and see these streams – it’s very dangerous at this time,” he said.

Koontz said they saw a pier north of the red wagon fall into the creek, but no one was in the area at the time.

Work crews place materials such as concrete blocks along the road and sandbags at various locations throughout the community.

At this time, RLFR said the water is off at the Red Lodge at this time.

Many roads in the Absarokee, Nye and Fishtail areas along the Stillwater River were flooded

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