Missoula County prepares disaster declaration for flooding - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Missoula County prepares disaster declaration for flooding

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MISSOULA - Missoula County commissioners are gearing up to make a disaster declaration this week, as they take steps to open the door for additional state and federal help to deal with the flooding we've already seen in Missoula and Seeley Lake.

Commissioners had already enacted an emergency declaration at the end of April, as the forecast began to show the potential for near-record flooding. That gave county departments and agencies the authorization to take emergency action in response to the flooding and to begin tracking expenses.

Now, commissioners are expected to approve a disaster declaration at their meeting Thursday. The draft proclamation the board is preparing notes that water levels on the Clark Fork already hit record marks last week, with flooding continuing to pose a risk on not only the river through Missoula, but Lolo Creek, the Clearwater, Swan, Bitterroot, and Blackfoot, as well as other small streams and rivers.

The proclamation will open the door for the county to receive state assistance with flood costs but eventually could tap into federal emergency help as well.

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