Snowpack on Deer Mountain near Darby could be one for the records


DARBY, Mont. - Darby Marshal Larry Rose has kept meticulous records of snowpack and water levels in the south valley for years.

He took photos of Deer Mountain in the Sapphires, east of Darby on the same date, April 24, three years in a row. In 2012 and 2013, the mountain was mostly bare of snow. This year's picture showed a solid white terrain.

Rose is concerned all that snow could cause flooding.

He referred to the fires of 2000, which left surrounding mountains bare of trees, especially to the west on the Bitterroot Range.

"It could be a record amount of high water," said Rose, "being we had the 2000 burn, there is so much area there where it can run off quick in this large amount of snow."

Ravalli County emergency services director Ron Nicholas said snowpack in the Bitterroot is at 180 percent.

Nicholas said people who live in flood-prone areas should start taking precautions to protect their property in case of flooding.

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