On Wednesday evening at Hawthorne School residents in the Orchard Homes area met with various county and other governmental officials to hear about the 2019 flood season.

Director of the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management, Adriane Beck, said residents primarily in the Kehrwald and Tower Streets area are the most in danger of high water from the Clark Fork River.

“We talked about some of the programs that the county has been asked to participate in following the 2018 flooding,” said Beck. “In the winter months we were able to engage the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, as well as the national Weather Service to being a survey that is grant funded that will give us what is called an ‘inundation model’ that will help to better enable us to predict where water will go in a flood event.”

Beck said after many discussions with the national Weather Service and the Army Corps of Engineers, they are predicting what they’re calling an average flood season for 2019.

“To put it in perspective, last year the flood gauge we’re most concerned about registered a flood level of just under 14 feet,” she said. “This year, we’re expecting maybe a nine foot surge at some point. We’re finding that the current 7.5 foot flood level is extremely accurate. Over the Easter weekend we did find that 7.5 foot level reached, and indeed that is when we started to see water flowing on the Kehrwald Drive area.”

Beck said there were representatives from the county health department to answer questions about wells and septic systems and what people can do to ensure their drinking water and sanitation is being taken care of during a flood event. The Sheriff’s Department was also there to discuss possible evacuations.

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