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Posted on: June 9, 2018

Tower Street Conservation Area remains closed due to flood hazards

City open space at the end of Tower Street remains closed until further notice due to flooding and hazardous conditions.  

The Tower Street Conservation Area, located on the banks of Clark Fork River near South 3rd St. West and Tower St., is currently covered by floodwaters.  Northwestern Energy (NWE) has expressed concern about the structural integrity of poles supporting high-voltage power lines in the area, and is working with the City to assess and repair flood-damaged power equipment as soon as possible. The area will remain closed until floodwaters have fully subsided and the City and NWE crews can safely access the area to make repairs.  Northwestern Energy reminds residents to stay away from any low-hanging or downed power lines and call 911 or Northwestern Energy at 866-467-2669.

In addition to power line damage, the area has suffered substantial damage to its trails, trees, vegetation and parking lot. Trees can become unstable and prone to falling in a flood zone as the water erodes the soil around the tree. Missoula Parks and Recreation’s Conservation Lands Management division will be assessing the damage and planning for repairs as flooding recedes in the coming weeks.

Floodwater contains many potential contaminants, according to Missoula County Office of Emergency Management.  Residents are reminded to avoid contact with floodwater, as it may contain bacteria and viruses from septic systems, which can cause infection and illness, or other materials, like household cleaners, chemicals, lawn care products, and pesticides, which can cause skin irritation, rash and allergic reaction.

Area residents have reported seeing people wading through floodwater to walk their dogs at the Tower St. open space. Those who choose to ignore the closure put themselves and their pets at risk and may be cited for trespassing. Citizens may call 911 to report closure violations.

Missoula County flood information is posted here: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5787/. For more information about Tower St. open space, call Missoula Parks and Recreation at 721-PARK (7275.)  

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