Backyard BlvdThe small town of Fort Smith lives on the waters of the Bighorn River.


Unless you’re living in a cave on dial-up, you’re likely aware that much of the Western U.S.—from Colorado to California—is under severe flood watch, with record snowpack poised to flow from snow choked mountains.

Montana, as made evident in the following photos, has perhaps been the hardest hit to date.

Reuters reported yesterday that heavy rains and snowmelt triggered flooding across the state, swamping communities and closing sections of federal and state roadways.

“There is no area of the state that is really in a safe spot,” said a spokesperson for Montana’s Disaster and Emergency Services Division.

So far, an elderly woman drowned in floodwaters in Carbon County, while emergency officials blame rising streams for the disappearances of individuals in Yellowstone County and in the high waters of the Smith River in central Montana. The Smith has since been closed to boaters.

We received these images from friends in Fort Smith, on the Bighorn River, this morning. You can recognize Lodge Grass, where the IGA market is (it’s blue). Crews have been evacuating people by boat to Crow Agency. The interstate is currently closed from Hardin to the Wyoming border.




Several feet of floodwater from the Little Bighorn River covers the Little Big Horn Camp and Motel along Interstate 90 near Crow Agency on Sunday.

Floodwater from the Little Bighorn River covers Interstate 90 near Crow Agency on Sunday.Flood water from the Little Bighorn River washes out railroad tracks near Crow Agency.

A canoe is tied to the deck on a mobile home along the Little Bighorn River near Crow Agency in this aerial view on Sunday.


The Little Bighorn River floods homes and businesses in and around Lodge Grass in this aerial view on Sunday, May 22, 2011.




Local communities near the Bighorn have received more than eight inches of rain in the last week. Visiting flyfishers have been stuck for days, which isn’t all bad considering fishing reports tell us the Baetis are still popping… and the trout like it wet.

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Geoff Mueller is senior editor at The Drake. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado. Follow him: @thedrakemagazine, @geoffmonline.

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