Missoula County making their presence known as rivers overflow

Posted at 3:48 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 17:48:11-04

MISSOULA – As some Missoula areas continue to deal with residential flooding, it’s important to keep in mind that western Montana’s true flood season typically occurs from late may through June.

Missoula County wants to let people know that they are there during natural disasters. This includes through the use of the Smart911 app.

“It’s an opt-in program that allows people to provide information to us on their location and some of their needs that they may have in the event of an emergency, and it allows us to directly contact them in case of an emergency, and give them the information that they may need,” said Ken Parks, Deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Management. 

Parks says ensures immediate assistance is always available.

In the spring of 2011, when the Clark Fork easily overflowed its banks, a surplus of Road Base was available to fill sandbags. That surplus is not there this season.

The county does not supply sand for the bags, but they say they are working behind the scenes to help however they can. 

“The county doesn’t have a sand pit, we don’t have sand readily available," Parks said. "What we’re doing now is, there’s a lot of ground swell of volunteers and people in the community that really want to help and what we’re doing from our office is organizing the volunteers and trying to connect them with the people in the community who need work done.”

With several areas along the Clark Fork located in a designated flood plain, flood insurance is an option for those residents. Parks says there are common misconceptions on how long in advance the insurance needs to be purchased. 

“Some people are under the impression that it takes 30 days to get it enacted, and for some cases it does, but in other cases where an emergency has been declared, it may take effect quicker,” Parks said.

He adds there are specific guidelines, such as flowrate, and a minimum amount of water moving for the insurance to kick in.