Contact: Patrick Lonergan, (406) 548-0111
Gallatin County, MT – As we move into spring the weather over the next 90 days will have a large impact on our spring runoff. It is challenging in the middle of March to predict if we will get wet spring snow dumps, a quick spike in hot weather, or heavy warm rain – all of which impact how quickly our winter snow pack will melt off. Ideally our snow will melt off continually over time, but when enough off these weather contributors occur the snow can melt faster than our waterways can accommodate and we see flooding.
At this point we can’t predict if flooding will occur, but we have a heavy snow pack on the valley floor and in the mountains. If you live near a waterway, now is the time to make sure as much water as possible stays in the waterway. Take some time now to do the following:
- Clean debris out of culverts and from under bridges.
- Clear debris out of ditches and other waterways.
- Make sure there is a clear path for snow to melt away from your buildings.
- Clear snow piles away from doors, windows and other places that makes it easy for melting snow to affect you.
Next, spend a few minutes to develop a plan on what you will do if flooding does affect you.
- Identify where you could be affected by flooding.
- Identify at what point the water would affect you, and develop a plan to keep the water from getting there.
- Identify what you would need in order to implement your plan and where you will get the supplies. The best source for sand bags is Bozeman Brick and Tile on Jackrabbit.
If flooding does occur, do this:
- Closely monitor the water conditions and predicted weather. Water levels change quickly and often peak in the middle of the night.
- If it looks like your plan may need to be implemented to protect your property, get the supplies and implement the plan. Once flooding occurs, it is too late to prevent the damage.
- Once implemented, continue to monitor the situation and be prepared to make adjustments. Water is hard to predict and it is going to go someplace.
- Be safe around flood water. It can be very dangerous and often catches people off guard.