Need For Missoula County Flood Insurance Could Be Soon, Peak Runoff Expected in April or May
Missoula usually sees peak runoff from snowmelt around May, but Missoula County's Floodplain Administrator, Todd Klietz warns that it can come much sooner, and that folks should be ready.
"The very earliest in the year that we've had peak runoff, that's been recorded anyway, has been April 13th, and why that's important to get the word out to people now is that if they wish to have FEMA flood insurance... and basically anyone in Missoula County can get FEMA flood insurance... they need to know that there is a 30 day wait limit once they get their policy," Kleitz said.
Kleitz said flooding can be a big issue along the Bitterroot, but there are even places in the city of Missoula get hit hard.
"The first place that we see it is in the Tower Street area, just west of Reserve Street," Kleitz said. "The reason we see it there is that prior to 1949, there wasn't a levy that was along that area. We had floods in 1948 that flooded the Orchard Homes area and after those floods, the Corps of Engineers built a levy, but the levy stops just east of Tower Street."
According to Kleitz, Montanans have a rather low rate of flood insurance, compared to those in other states. He says that FEMA flood insurance doesn’t just come from issues in the flood plain and that things like street melt can also be covered.