Despite the warmer weather, ice is still a concern on the Madison River.
Last Friday, a side channel formed rather suddenly on the west side of the river ice, near the top of the levy that keeps the river out of lower Ennis, said Chris Mumme, director of Madison County Emergency Management.
The channel that formed was on top of the existing ice and within about 18 inches of topping the levy, Mumme said.
Ultimately that was as high as the water got, but as a precaution officials placed about 120 sand bangs along the levy at the east end of Hugel Street.
Officials also made some marks along the levy for people monitoring the river level, he said.
“What we did is we opted to put out some markers for people to monitor and if it got up to the marker we were going to go into emergency mode and put out some more sandbags,” Mumme said.
Saturday morning the water returned to the main channel, which continued to open up with the warmer weather over the weekend, he said.
“Right now it’s really cut down into a nice channel,” Mumme said.
With the warmer weather and the open channel, the town is really in a monitoring mode, said Ennis Mayor John Clark.
“As long as it’s got the channel cut we’re okay, but if it re-gorges again we’ll have to watch it,” Clark said. “We’ve got our resources all lined up and some contractors who will get us equipment if we need it.”
The town is updating its emergency radio station as needed with pertinent information, he said. If something happens or if residents are wondering about something, chances are the information they’ll need will be broadcast on 1610 am.
If flooding was to occur and the town had to evacuate residents or need volunteers they may use the old air siren, which has been hooked up again, Clark said.
If people hear the siren, they are encouraged to turn their radios to the town station to get further instructions and information, he said.
For more questions or information, call city all at 682-4287 or go to the website: www.ennismontana.org.