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Montana DNRC issues ice jam warnings - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Montana DNRC issues ice jam warnings

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HELENA - The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is warning residents along rivers and streams to be ready for possible ice jams following the epic snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures of the past week.

The DNRC says February and March are the months with the greatest potential for ice jams and flooding in Montana. But with the heavy snow last week and sub-zero and single digit temperatures, followed by a warm-up later this week, the agency says riverfront property owners need to be watchful.

DNRC floodplain specialist Michele Phillips says residents should make sure their flood insurance is current, shovel or plow snow away from homes and buildings and be ready to move, or elevate possessions should waters back up.

Phillips says people should also keep extra drinking water on hand because flooding can compromise water systems. 

More than 80% of ice jams happen in the mid-to-late winter months. The most ever recorded were in 1996 when 75 jams formed following huge post-Christmas storms that crippled the entire Northwest. 

More information about ice jams -- and how you can be prepared -- can be found here.

RELATED: Ice jams in Gallatin River raise flooding fears

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