As of 10 o’clock Friday morning, the Missoula County Commissioners made an emergency proclamation due to the flooding of the Clark Fork and other county waterways.

Communications and Special Projects director Anne Hughes said the declaration is necessary considering the flooding that has transpired so far, and that is expected to continue.

“It provides for several things,” Hughes said. “It allows for incident commanders in the field to have the authority to close roads or prevent access to areas, or to order evacuations, and that’s only if necessary for public safety.”

Hughes says the emergency declaration enables the county to pave the way for more help, if needed.

“It allows the county to request resources from the state or other agencies through mutual aid or through a contract for assistance,” she said. “It gives the county the ability to submit a request to the Governor for assistance from the National Guard. It allows us to request assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide technical assistance including protecting public infrastructure and providing sandbags. It also gives us the ability to start tracking the impacts to the county and our residents if local state or federal disaster declaration is warranted. This allows us to start tracking that and set that in motion.”

The national weather service says the Clark Fork has slipped below flood stage for now, but that river levels will rise this weekend and into next week. The flood warning continues until further notice.