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DENVER – Updates to some of Missoula County, Montana’s flood insurance rate maps are nearing completion. The new maps will provide the Clearwater River in Missoula County with more accurate flood risk information that can help local officials and residents make informed decisions about reducing flood risks and purchasing flood insurance.

The floodplain mapping project was initiated in 2014 and is a joint effort between Missoula County, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), and FEMA. It is part of a nationwide effort led by FEMA to increase local knowledge of flood risk and support actions to address and reduce that risk.

In Missoula County, the project involved updated flood study work on 9 miles of the Clearwater River. New and updated flood insurance rate maps were produced, indicating areas at risk of flooding in a one-percent annual chance flood event. The new floodplain maps will be used to replace the existing floodplain maps for the Clearwater River that were originally produced in 1983.

Officials encourage residents and business owners to review the proposed maps to learn about the flood threat in their area, and potential future flood insurance purchase requirements.

Once preliminary maps are released, there is a 90-day appeal period during which community members can provide additional data for consideration before the maps are final. This appeal period begins on July 29, 2022 and ends on October 27, 2022. Appeal packages should address scientific or technical mistakes in the maps and must include supporting data or engineering documentation.

The proposed maps can be viewed online at www.floodplain.mt.gov/clearwater and at the Missoula County Community and Planning Services (CAPS) Department. 

If you have technical and scientific information, such as detailed hydraulic or hydrologic data, you may be able to appeal the flood risk information on the proposed maps during the 90-day appeal period. For further details on this process, visit www.floodplain.mt.gov/clearwater or contact Bailey Minnich, Missoula County Floodplain Administrator at caps@missoulacounty.us or 406-258-4657, or Nadene Wadsworth, DNRC Floodplain Outreach Specialist at nadene.wadsworth@mt.gov or 406-444-6732.  

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