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Missoula Expecting 2011 Flooding Levels, Time Running Out for Effective Flood Insurance

Photo courtesy of Jon King

Western Montana saw a lot of precipitation in January, February and March, and the onset of spring means that the snow in the mountains will begin working its way down into the valleys. Missoula floodplain administrator Todd Klietz is warning Montanans to get flood insurance before it’s too late.

“For federal flood insurance to be in effect, you have to have 30 days of coverage before a storm hits and causes damage,” Klietz said. “In Missoula, Missoula County we average anywhere between the middle of May to June 20 for our peak annual run-off. So, if you get it now, hopefully you’ll have about 30 days before that peak run-off comes.

Klietz says conditions are ripe for serious flooding this year.

“We think that the levels are there [for flooding],” Klietz said. “We’re still at about 150 percent in the Clark Fork and Bitterroot drainage areas for snow pack. It all depends on how mother nature brings it down, but these cooler nights and warmer days typically lead to the kind of flooding we saw back in 2011.”

A list of all the local insurance providers that have been Fema trained to handle flood insurance can be found on the floodplain page of the Missoula County website.





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