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Missoula's new floodplain maps updated for first time in 25 years

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Aug 14 2013 06:49:37 PM MDT
Updated On: Aug 14 2013 09:48:01 PM MDT

New maps should give homeowners better idea of their flood risks.

It could leave some residents shopping for flood insurance.

MISSOULA, Mont. -

Missoula has new floodplain maps that should give homeowners a better idea of their flood risks.

The new Federal Emergency Management Agency maps have been updated for the first time in 25 years. Some Missoulians might be reassured. Others might need to shop for flood insurance.

"The purpose of this program is to let people know what their level of risk is," said mapping specialist, Carrie Higinbotham.

The maps are in digital and paper format.

"With new technology we're able to refine how that map was drawn," said Higinbotham. "And be much more accurate about where the line is being drawn."

The maps could spell changes for some city and county residents. Some who had been in the floodplain, may not be anymore. Others who hadn't been mapped there, might be in the floodplain now.

Of course, people in the drainages like the Rattlesnake and Miller Creek, and other well known Missoula streams, plus the Clark Fork River, can be at risk.

Areas that have been added to at risk flooding is a stretch about one-and-a-half miles up Lolo Creek to Graves Creek on Highway 12.

Also included are LaValle Creek and Butler Creek, near the old pulp mill, and next to railroad grades in Clinton.

People can find out more by logging onto both city and county websites.

There are also hard copies at the Missoula Public Library.