Flood Advisory Extends through Sat., Victor Residents Prepare - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Flood Advisory Extends through Sat., Victor Residents Prepare

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VICTOR -

The National Weather Service extended a flood advisory through Saturday for poor drainage areas in Missoula and Ravalli Counties.

Residents in Victor scrambled to protect their homes against floods yesterday as temperatures reached the low forties, melting large amounts of snow.

"Got home about 1:30, and just pretty much just had a river going through my yard," said Victor resident Ben Thomason.

Thomason and his son Darvin spent Friday morning digging out the small ditch that runs along their yard, after it overflowed Thursday afternoon.

"Stopped the damage as much as I could."

Thomason was just one of dozens of Victor residents whose yards and even homes were flooded.

Now, they're preparing for the worst.

Many residents have placed sandbags around the edges of their properties in preparation for additional flooding.

"We've had probably a dozen people to two dozen people down here getting sandbags," said Victor Fire Chief Dennis Pings.

Pings said he and his fire crew had to do some sandbagging of their own, when the temperature rose above 40.

"All of a sudden, something kind of broke loose and we ended up with a lake out here beside the fire hall."

Pings said the changing temperatures make floods unpredictable.

"The ground being frozen, when it thaws out this quick, the water doesn't have any place to go, it's not going to go into the ground."

And, Pings said like the one along the Thomasons' property, many of the ditches through Victor are plugged with packed snow and ice.

"Therefore about the only place it can travel is down the street and into people's yards."

After Thursday's floods, large pools of standing water under only a very thin layer of ice can be seen all over town.

Thomason has dozens of sandbags surrounding his yard, and says he's glad his house sits on a higher foundation.

"If it got into the house, it'd have to be pretty high water," Thomason said.

Victor fire officials said the last major flood they saw in the area due to melting snow was in 1997.

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