Emergency managers prepare for flooding as snowpack nears '11 levels
MISSOULA, Mont. - Montana emergency managers are already planning for what could be a big flood season, and if you live in a flood plain, they say you should be preparing too.
According the National Weather Service, Montana has above average snowpack levels statewide, and in parts of Missoula, Silver Bow, and Gallatin Counties, the snowpack is measured above 150 percent of the median.
Emergency officials tell us the last time they saw levels like this was 2011, a year that flooding nationwide caused more than $8.5 billion in damage.
Missoula County Deputy Emergency Manager Adriane Beck says her agency has already started coordinating with other local and state agencies. She says the most important thing homeowners living in a flood plain can do right now is buy flood insurance.
"This is the time of year to purchase flood insurance," said Beck. "If you need flood insurance, there's a 30-day wait to get flood insurance. Floodsmart.gov is a great website with lots of information about facts and myths of flood insurance, as well as typical costs."
Beck says people can also stay up to date on the latest flooding information by calling (406)-258-INFO.
Click here for a link to Missoula County's flood plain management page, here for a link to the Missoula Emergency Management website, and here for a link to view Montana snowpack totals.
There is also a service available to Missoula County residents called SMART 911 that lets dispatchers share personal safety information with cell phones.