County to stop offering free sandbags after 5 p.m.

Lewis and Clark County continues to deal with flooding in the North Valley. The waters have closed Rossiter Elementary indefinitely and swamped the Helena Campground and RV Park on North Montana Ave.

The county has been handing out free sandbags at the Fairgrounds to residents to protect their homes and property, but will have to put an end to that at 5 p.m. today.

County officials made the decision because of the cost of the sandbags, which has been significant. Around 61,000 have been given away since flooding began last week – at a cost of around $1 per bag.

According to county records, 85,500 sandbags were distributed during the 2011 floods, and the county is on track to far exceed that number this year.

After Friday, public resources will be used to address flooding effects on public property.

County employees will continue to pump water near Rossiter and clear ditches and culverts of debris to reduce the impact of flood waters as much as possible.