MISSOULA – The flood waters in and around Missoula are continuing to fall which means recovery efforts are beginning to ramp up along the Clark Fork River.
City and county officials involved in the flood recovery efforts hosted a public meeting on Sunday to share resources and information with those affected.
Missoula County Emergency Management Services Director Adriane Beck directed flood victims through numerous resources during the meeting. She also highlighted the dangers of water damage on the structure of homes and the toxicity of the floodwater — both in homes and in the water.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Marty Whitmore provided a reassuring forecast, saying river levels will drop out of minor flood stage within the next 24 hours.
Emergency management will provide free inspections to ensure that properties are safe to and will also work with other organizations to make sure residents have access to the information and assistance they need.
"When the flood water recedes for the final time — and everyone’s dry — we will open a multi-agency resource center (MARC), and it will be in an open house format similar to this format, so that people can go in and find out what resources are available to them," said Nick Holloway with the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management.
"We partner up with our community organizations active in disaster quite a bit, and fail be tabling, places where people can go talk to them and get their questions answered," he added.
Holloway says the resource center will be established once floodwaters recede for good. Officials with FEMA also say it’s important to take an active role and to talk with them about carrying on after the waters have receded.
Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Captain Anthony Rio says that each home will have their evacuation status examined on a case by case basis.