Revised Preliminary Floodplain Map Issued for Four Corners Area; Open House to Discuss Impact of Revisions

Media Release

March 26, 2018

Contact Information:

Sean O’Callaghan
Gallatin County Planning

Tiffany Lyden                                                     or            Worby McNamee
Montana DNRC Floodplain Program                        Montana DNRC Floodplain Program                                                      
406-444-0599                                                                     406.444-1343

Revised Preliminary Floodplain Map Issued for Four Corners Area; Open House to Discuss Impact of Revisions


Gallatin County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) have been working on a project to update the existing Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the West Gallatin River.  The project was started in 2012 and will result in new, updated floodplain maps for the West Gallatin River, eventually replacing the existing floodplain maps that were published in 2011, but actually based on study information from 1979 and 2000.   “Updating the existing floodplain maps is a key step in providing the best available data to help keep families, homes, roads and other infrastructure safe from future flood events” explained Tiffany Lyden, DNRC Floodplain Outreach Specialist.  The project uses high-accuracy topographic information, updated hydrologic data and modern engineering methods to identify and map flood risk areas.  Flood Insurance Rate Maps depict those areas at risk of flooding during a 100-year flood event, also known as a 1% annual chance flood event.

Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps were issued for the West Gallatin River in November 2016.  Gallatin County hosted public open houses in 2016 and 2017 to review the maps and discuss proposed changes with affected property owners.  “Initial review comments for the Four Corners area of the study prompted a review and revision of the map in that area,” explained Lyden.  “In mid-February, FEMA issued a revised preliminary map to replace the initial preliminary map produced in the Four Corners area”.

Public Open House:  Revised Floodplain Map for Four Corners Area

When:  Thursday, April 29, 2018  6:00 – 8:00 p.m.


Sean O’Callaghan, Floodplain Administrator & Planning Director, Gallatin County
Tiffany Lyden, Outreach Specialist, Montana DNRC


Community Room
Gallatin County Courthouse
311 W. Main St., Bozeman

What You’ll Learn

  • Which area is affected by the revision
  • How the revised map could affect your property
  • The status of the Floodplain Mapping Update Project and what comes next
  • How floodplain maps provide information to help keep families, homes and infrastructure safe from flood risk

Next Steps:

FEMA will open a 90-Day Appeal and Comment period for all preliminary floodplain maps for the West Gallatin River, expected to start in mid-July 2018.  Comments and appeals on the preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps and accompanying Flood Insurance Study can be submitted to the Gallatin County Planning Office during the 90-Day appeal and comment period.  More information about the project, the appeal and comment period, and the preliminary maps and study information, can be found online:

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Unattended Death in Big Sky

On 3/26/18 at 1201 Gallatin County Dispatch received a 911 call regarding an unattended death on Ridgeview Loop Road in Big Sky, MT.

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies and Big Sky Fire Department responded to the scene. It was discovered that a man had fallen into the front of the snow blower and died from his injuries. A Gallatin County Deputy Coroner and detectives responded to the scene to conduct the death investigation.

The body will be transported to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. The name of the victim is pending the notification of the immediate family.  

Missing Child

This is a message from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies are looking for a missing 3 year old female child last seen in the area of 5th Street in Manhattan. The child is wearing a white shirt with a green dinosaur, jeans, no shoes. She has brown hair and is named Logan. If located please call 911.

This message was posted automatically from the Community Notification System.

Potential for Flooding Begins Thursday

GCEM Media Release

Release:  180321-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Potential for Flooding Begins Thursday

Bozeman, MT – Current weather forecasts are predicting temperatures in the 50’s Thursday, high freezing elevation in the mountains, and rain in both the valleys and mountains which creates the potential for flooding.  Residents in Gallatin County should closely monitor their property Thursday night and Friday for flooding situations that may develop from melting snow and rain.  While we don’t know exactly how much snow melt and precipitation will occur, we know that it happen and the only questions is how much.

The difference between no issue and a big issue is often very small amount.  Officials encourage everyone to keep their eyes open and not be caught off guard.  Emergency Manager Patrick Lonergan explains, ” We always hope there are no issues, but unfortunately won’t know until after the fact if the weather will cause us issues.  To be on the safe side, we encourage people to be vigilant, keep an eye open, and be proactive if they see an issue developing.”

Information on flooding is available at:


Potential for Significant Snow Melt

GCEM Media Release

Release:  180319-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Potential for Significant Snow Melt

Bozeman, MT – Valley snow pack and forecast weather conditions later in the week may lead to significant snow melt and associated localized flooding in the Gallatin Valley.  The National Weather Service is expecting temperatures to reach the 50’s on Thursday combined with measurable rain.  The high temperatures and rain will likely cause much of the snow currently on the valley floor to melt and run off, causing flooding in the process.

Property owners are encouraged to survey their property beforehand and address any conditions that they think could cause problems on their property from rapid snow melt.  The challenge with flooding is that once it occurs, it is too late to prevent the damage from occurring.  Property owners are also encouraged to ensure that ditches and culverts on their property are clear of debris to allow as much water as possible to flow through them.

The best location in the valley for bulk sandbags is Bozeman Brick, Block and Tile on Jackrabbit.  They are available as either empty or filled sand bags.

Information on flooding is available at


Gallatin County Law Enforcement – Increase Patrols for St. Patrick’s Day


Increased Patrols Out for St. Patrick’s Day
Don’t Test Your Luck – Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

March 16, 2018 – Law Enforcement will be on alert in Gallatin County this St. Patrick’s Day weekend to crack down on impaired driving. The Montana Highway Patrol will also be out statewide patrolling to deter and detect drunk drivers.

In the U.S., one person dies in an alcohol-impaired vehicle crash every 50 minutes. On St. Patrick’s Day – one of the deadliest holidays on our nation’s roads – this rate only increases. During the 2012-2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, 269 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes.  

 Drunk driving isn’t just deadly, in all 50 states, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. In Montana, if you are pulled over and found to be impaired, you will receive a DUI, get your license revoked, and possibly receive jail time and up to $10,000 in fines. The consequences are more severe for repeat offenders.

Your Law Enforcement is working together and wish to ask, “If you’re planning on drinking this St. Patrick’s Day, plan ahead for sober transportation.” “It’s really that simple. Designating a sober driver can save you time, money, and possibly your life or the life of someone else.”

The high-risk period starts on Thursday and goes through the holiday weekend, and local enforcement agencies will have extra patrols out on the lookout for impaired drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to prevent injuries and fatalities on the roadways.

The public can join in on this effort by ensuring sober transportation for all friends and family members and calling 911 to report any suspected drunk drivers on the road. In all situations, wearing your seat belt continues to be the best defense against impaired driving.

Increased traffic safety patrols are funded by the Montana Department of Transportation. This and other enforcement and educational campaigns are strategies to reach Vision Zero — zero deaths and zero serious injuries on Montana roadways. For more information about Vision Zero, contact Charity Watt, Montana Department of Transportation, 406-444-3439,

We ask that you have a safe and memorable St. Patrick’s Day.

Chief Dennis Hengel, Manhattan Police Dept.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office  

Chief Steve Crawford, Bozeman Police Dept.

Chief E. J. Clark Jr., Belgrade Police Dept.

Capt. Mark Wilfore, Montana Highway Patrol            

Chief Bill Dove, Bozeman/Yellowstone Airport Police                                                  

Chief Frank Parish Jr., Montana State University Police Dept.

 Chief Scott Newell, West Yellowstone Police Dept.

Watch for Localized Flooding

Media Release: 180315-01

Contact: Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395

Watch for Localized Flooding

Bozeman, MT – Residents are encouraged to closely monitor water runoff around their property in the coming days. The combination of frozen ground, significant precipitation and temperatures above freezing create a situation where localized flooding could easily cause issues for people. Gallatin County Emergency Manager Patrick Lonergan explains, “In situations like this it is common for was to accumulate in low lying areas and can often present problems for people’s homes located in geographical depression or with below grade entrances. We encourage everyone to take a quick look around heir property and if they see something that looks like it could cause trouble, fix it then before it causes damage.”

It’s very likely we will be in this similar situation for the next several days with above freezing temperatures in the day and additional precipitation expected.

Learn more about flooding in Gallatin County at


ATV Injury North of Belgrade

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Tuesday at 3:00 PM Gallatin 911 received a report of a 54 year old Belgrade man with a dislocated hip near Skinner Road North of Belgrade. He had been riding a four wheeler when the injury occurred. The reporting party told dispatch that they did not believe anyone would be able to drive to their location so Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was dispatched with Central Valley Fire. The fire department was the first on scene and was able to get to the patient with the help of the reporting party’s vehicle.   Life Flight Medical helicopter was dispatched and landed near the patient. Search and Rescue volunteers used four wheelers to get to the patient and helped move him to the helicopter.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind everyone to four-wheel, snowmobile and recreate with a partner.

Video courtesy of the Sheriffs Office

Spring Break for Search and Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.)

This weekend marked the beginning of the end for snowmobile season in the South end of Gallatin County.  The festivities for Snowmobile Expo in West Yellowstone concluded with no rescue calls except for on the race track in town.  However, the beginning of spring break in the valley send Sheriff’s Search and Rescue on three calls over the weekend.  A missing person on Sixteen Mile Road Sunday, a reported injury in a Forest Service Cabin on Trail Creek Saturday night and a crashed snowmobile near Fairy Lake Saturday afternoon.  All three calls were completed with no complications.  The Fairy Lake call came in at 3:30 PM when Gallatin County 911 received a call from Park County stating that a woman who spoke limited English was lost or her child was lost.  The call was made on an unregistered cell phone so there was no number available for a call back or data that would tell dispatchers who the phone belonged to.  Location data from the phone call was between Hardscrabble and Sacajawea Peaks.  A Deputy was sent to the trailhead on Fairy Lake Rd and Sheriff’s Search and Rescue assets were activated to include Posse, Hasty, Heli, Search Dogs and HAMs.

At the trailhead contact was made with two women who said that a woman had come down to the trailhead on foot asking for help.  They understand that she had crashed her snowmobile and there were two more people (a male and a female) somewhere up the trail.  Two men in the party went up the trail on snowmobiles and met another group of snowmobilers who had seen the two missing people.

Members from the SAR Hasty Team skied up the trail and met the good Samaritans who had located the missing people.  The Hasty team did a quick medical assessment and then they were brought out to the trailhead along with the snowmobile that had been crashed.

While the language barrier made it difficult to put together; it sounds like the original party of four from Puerto Rico had gone up to do some skiing and snowboarding.  They had ridden up the trail to a place where they were going to ski.  The woman who called 911 dropped off her passengers and headed back on the snowmobile to pick up the fourth member of the party.  On the way back to the trailhead, she crashed her snowmobile and hiked back to the trailhead asking for help.  Some local residents out for a day of snowmobiling heard the calls for help and went to assist.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said “The season isn’t over yet but I think we are through the busy time down south.  The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone Volunteers did a great job this winter.  Hopefully they can get a breather before the start of the summer tourist season.”