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Montanans are Preparing for Possible Spring Flooding

Bitterroot River
Bitterroot River. (KLYQ File Photo)
With the snowpack above 150 percent in the Bitterroots, the forecasters are predicting at least some flooding this year in the valley.

Are you ready? Do you know where the streams and rivers might cause a problem for you – either at your home or on your road to work every day?

Take a few moments this week and look around. Ask an old-timer where some of the flooding has happened. (Expect a bit more information than you were planning on, though. We Old Bitterrooters like to embellish.)

Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen reminds you that flood insurance takes effect no earlier than 30 days after you sign up., so don’t delay if you’re planning that avenue.

The Montana Red Cross has some tips we’re passing along:

  • Create and practice a home disaster plan, including where you’ll meet up.
  • Assemble a flood preparedness kit, with a 3-day supply of water, a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food, flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, your required medications, extra clothing, rain gear, pet supplies, extra cash.
  • Have copies of your valuable documents like birth certificates, etc.
  • Heed the flood warnings. When the Sheriff’s Office says “evacuate,” don’t hesitate. (also good advice during forest fire season)
  • Do not drive through water running over the road, especially a dirt road. It doesn’t take long for water to create a deep channel.
  • KLYQ Radio in Hamilton and our Missoula sister station KGVO AM and FM will have emergency notifications on the air and on-line.

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