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Tongue River

The campground below Tongue River Dam has been closed due to high water.

River View Campground below the Tongue River Reservoir Dam has been closed due to high water.

Montana State Parks announced the temporary closure saying current water levels on the river are dangerous and a threat to public safety.

The Tongue River at the Wyoming state line near Decker was flowing at 10,100 cubic feet per second Wednesday. Normally at this time of the year it's closer to 1,600 cfs. The river jumped more than 8,000 cfs in just two days.

The elevation of Tongue River Reservoir is just 2 feet below the emergency spillway crest. Releases from the reservoir are at 4,840 cfs while normally at this time of year they are near 1,100 cfs.

The Tongue is just one of three rivers that flow from Wyoming into Montana and the Yellowstone River that was showing a significant increase in water during the past two days.

The Bighorn River near Lovell, Wyoming, is running at 12,300 cfs compared to a usual 4,200 cfs. More water into Bighorn Reservoir has prompted the Bureau of Reclamation to increase discharges from Yellowtail Dam to almost 5,000 cfs.

The Powder River, which is also a tributary to the Yellowstone River, was running at 8,860 cfs near Moorhead. Its normal flow is closer to 1,010 cfs at this time of the year.

The waters will swell an already rising Yellowstone River that at Glendive was running at 36,600 cfs. The Yellowstone joins the Missouri at the North Dakota border. Downstream states have been drowning under heavy rains and snowmelt.

On Tuesday Cooney State Park campgrounds were closed due to flooding. 

The Tongue River campground will remain closed until water levels recede. Other park areas and campgrounds remain open.

For more information, call the park office at 406-757-2298 or visit http://stateparks.mt.gov/tongue-river-reservoir/.

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