Missoula County prepares for rising flood levels and new challenges

Posted at 5:11 PM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 19:11:45-04

MISSOULA – The Missoula County Commission approved a disaster proclamation on Thursday which allows them to seek funds from the state and federal government, if needed.

Because of increasing flood costs, the county does anticipate having to use money from the state.

“As of this morning we were right around $250,000 mark, from the time we stood up the incident management team," said Adriane Beck, Director of the Office of Emergency Management. "Which, essentially, is all the flood-related costs to this point. That includes costs associated with overtime for public works, sheriff’s deputies, my office."

The county can save money as long as they are not forced to call in the National Guard. Instead, the county hopes to continue to utilize local private and public entities.  

However, the county is prepared to call on the National Guard if necessary.

“If the need arises, if we end up with a larger evacuation area than we have now or if we are unable to man the checkpoints that we have, certainly the guard could be an option for that mission,” Beck said.

Even as the county deals with damages due to rising floodwaters, a new concern of landslides along burn scars could also bring damage to area homes.

“We were able to identify about 10 homes that have an increased risk of mudslide and or landslide, should all the stars align and we get one of these slow-moving thunder cells that produces a lot of precipitation in a very short period of time," Beck added.  "Those homeowners could be impacted, so today in coordination with the Sheriffs Office we are out making direct contact with those individuals.”