On Sunday night, some flash floods hit Lewis and Clark County. Hail hit the ground, and though Helena’s Last Chance Gulch, a small river of rainwater rose to wheel wells and lapped at the doors of businesses.
Lewis and Clark County is under a flash flood warning from the National Weather Service until 9:15 p.m. on Sunday.
The NWS said that there has been up to 1 inch of rain. “There are already flash floods.”
Meteorologist Matt Ludwig from the National Weather Service said that they knew there was a chance of severe thunderstorms, but they thought they would happen south of Helena.
He said that it looks like a supercell thunderstorm that crossed the Continental Divide in Lewis and Clark County.
This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation in Lewis and Clark County:
The weather people said, “This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation.”
Helena, East Helena, and Spring Meadow Lake State Park were all hit by flash flooding.
Social media posts showed that a small river was flowing down Last Chance Gulch and that floodwaters were hitting the doors of businesses.
Ludwig said that there were also reports that Winnie Avenue was flooded.
Officials from the weather service said that the heavy rain will affect creeks, streams, cities, and underpasses.
Jon Campbell, the fire chief of Helena, said that his team had told him that the 911 center got so many calls that the weather and the number of calls had messed up the system. He said that there were a lot of calls about trees that had fallen and people who needed help. He said that a lot of people were able to solve the problems on their own.
He said there were reports of people being stuck on Mount Helena, but they were able to get off the mountain before rescuers got there.
Campbell also said that there were several reports of flooding from downtown residents and businesses.
The basement of the main house of the YWCA in Helena was one of the places that got hit the hardest.
Jen Gursky, who is the executive director, said that there was 1 to 2 inches of standing water in a 2,000-square-foot area. She said that a number of mattresses and beds for children were ruined.
She said, “I think everything in there is a waste.”
It also has a room with hardwood floors where classes for children, parents, and other groups meet.
Gursky said, “It’s sad that the basement flooded because that’s where we keep all of our storage and baby stuff.”
She said that a water restoration company was called to help fix the damage, and fans have been set up all over the area. Gursky and Kellie Dold, who is in charge of development and marketing for the YWCA in Helena, put out a call for help on Facebook.
“Our basement is flooding, and we need your help,” Gursky said.
Leo Dutton, the sheriff of Lewis and Clark County statement:
Dold said that they would appreciate any help with the flooding.
Montana Book Co. is located at 331 N. Gulch said on social media on Sunday that it was fine after the “freak flood.”
It said on Twitter, “Can’t say that for everyone.” “There were clogged toilets, pools of water, and flooded basements all over downtown. Wait while people get things cleaned up.”
Ludwig said that the storm is now in the northern part of Meagher County.
Leo Dutton, the sheriff of Lewis and Clark County, said he had heard reports of flooding in Helena but none in the rest of the county.
People were told by the weather service to be careful when driving on flooded roads.
“Turn around, don’t drown,” they said. “Most flood deaths happen in cars.”
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