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Livingston residents brace for more flooding

livingston sand bags.jpg
Residents in Livingston help fill sand bags Monday as the Yellowstone River continued to rise.
Olivia Weitz

Residents in parts of Livingston are being advised to make preparations for evacuation.

As of Monday evening, the area from south of Lewis Street to View Vista Drive, and between B & O Streets, was under a pre-evacuation order. The Livingston City Fire Department says chances for flooding are high.

The Montana Red Cross has opened a shelter in Bozeman at Hope Lutheran Church at 2152 Graf St. for people affected by the flooding.

With more rain expected, residents in Livingston have been distributing hundreds of sandbags to flood-prone areas along the Yellowstone River.

Efforts to fill sandbags Monday at the Park County FairGrounds was an "all hands on deck" situation, said Erica Lighthiser with the nonprofit Park County Environmental Council.

“We’ve got a giant pile of sand and hundreds of white bags, and people are filling up the bags three-quarters full of sand and tying them off and loading them off into trucks,” she said.

Worried about more flooding, around 3 p.m. the group moved to a park further away from the Yellowstone River to continue filling sandbags.

Park County is under a flood warning until Wednesday afternoon. By Monday evening the river stage at the Yellowstone River near Livingston was 13.9 feet, according to the National Weather Service, which noted that the river is "currently higher than it's ever been recorded."

The Park County Sheriff's office has issued a shelter-in-place order until 7 a.m. Tuesday for Paradise Valley residents, unless they are at risk of flooding.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.