As temperatures rise, threat of flooding increases


KALISPELL, Mont. - Warm temperatures are causing thousands of dollars in property damage. Melting snow in Flathead County is creating flooding in surprising places.

Brian Tanko knew he had a water problem at his law office.

"I got a call yesterday from my cleaning lady who said we had some water downstairs," said Tanko. "This morning I didn't expect to see what I saw. Three inches of water, floating carpet, it was awful!"

After a winter of record-breaking snowfall, restoration companies say the quick rise in temperature is raising the water table.

Now emergency officials are warning residents to prepare their homes and businesses.

"We can clearly expect it. If you look out the window, the snow is going to melt. Warming temperatures will make that increase," said Flathead County Emergency Services manager Rick Sacca. "A little bit of rain on top of that will also increase the speed or the rate that snow melts and produces water that's got to go somewhere."

Sacca also says residents should follow these quick tips as the weather begins to warm:

Clear your crawlspace. Make sure gutters and storm drains are free of debris. Clear snow about 3 to 6 feet from the foundation of your home. If you live in a high-risk area purchase flood insurance. Make sure your sump pump is working, and if you don't have one you should look into getting one.
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