Heavy rains caused flooding near Augusta, closing popular roads, trails into the Bob Marshall

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Up to 8 inches of rain fell on the Rocky Mountain Front last week near Augusta, causing flooded roads and trails, while some people had to be flown out of the wilderness because they were trapped.

Two Bear air evacuated 13 horseback riders who were caught in the Scapegoat Wilderness on June 19.

On June 21, National Guard Chinook Helicopters picked up 100 teenagers and 37 adults from the Montana Wilderness School of the Bible southwest of Augusta after they were trapped by floodwaters.

Floodwaters turned the Main Street of Augusta into a flowing creek for a time. The waters have since subsided and most businesses that were closed have since reopened.

Flood waters from the Sun River also impacted neighborhoods in Great Falls and in Sun River.

The popular road to Benchmark is closed because of flood damage and the Banner Creek Road at the south end of the Bob Marshall Complex is also closed.

Benchmark is one of the main routes into the Bob Marshall Wilderness’s Sun River Country and the main trailhead to reach the famed Chinese Wall.

The Beaver Willow Road is closed as is the Elk Creek Road, the Dearborn River Road, the Smith Creek Road, and parts of Highway 21. In addition, the following campgrounds are closed because one can’t get to them: Mill Falls, Wood Lake and the picnic area, Double Falls, Benchmark and South Fork Sun.

There’s also a host of trailheads that are inaccessible, including: South Fork Teton, Rierdon Gulch, Janikula, Fairview, Straight Creek, South Fork Sun, Smith Creek, Elk Creek and Dearborn.

For a full list of current closures, visit the Helena Lewis and Clark National Forest website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/hlcnf/home

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