This is the main branch of the Flathead River as is passes through Columbia Falls, Montana (USA) on May 1. We’re looking north toward Teakettle Mountain and the area of town called Mosquito Flats. You can see where the water has already covered some of the willow brush if peoples’ yards.
It has been many years since the water level has been this high. Meteorologists believe that La Nina has caused the excess moisture that the western states have received this year, as well as the drought conditions in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Although the extra moisture we’ve had this winter has been welcome after many years of drought, everyone in Western Montana is preparing for likely flooding. The Hungry Horse Dam controls the amount of water that is released into the South Fork of the Flathead, but the main branch is also fed by the North and Middle Forks. Weather forecasts predict that the snowpack in the mountains of several western states could keep building until the end of June. When the weather finally warms up the water levels are going to swell even more.
Photo taken in May, 2011 with a Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS camera.
Another view of the high water level in the river: