MISSOULA – Missoula County commissioners signed a disaster declaration on Thursday because of the extensive flooding in the Missoula area. By signing that declaration, it opens the county to apply for state aid while dealing with the flooding that’s being 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.
The draft proclamation that the board is prepared 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 opens the door for the county to receive state assistance with flood costs but eventually could tap into federal emergency help as well.