The federal on-scene coordinator with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Emergency Response Unit, Marty McComb and one other EPA official are in Missoula to test the berms and the toxins at the former Smurfit-Stone mill site
One of the most significant effects of the Clark Fork River flooding is the danger of toxic materials stored for the last half-century in the old Smurfit settling ponds that are separated from the swollen river by only a series of earthen berms, being released into the river.
Flood response officials are focusing their attention on a levee in the East Mullan Road area that is reportedly being eroded by the flooding of the Clark Fork River, possibly putting infrastructure in the area at risk.
After declaring a flood emergency in late April, the Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers have flooded and hundreds of thousands of county dollars have been expended, so Missoula County Commissioners officially declared a disaster on Thursday morning, making way for state aid.
It was an amazing week for volunteers in Missoula as friends, neighbors and strangers met to fill sandbags and support those who were displaced by the rising waters of the Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers.