Aerial photo of Prickly Pear Creek overrunning its banks at East Helena, June 8, 2011.

Aerial photo of Prickly Pear Creek overrunning its banks at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy on June 8, 2011.

Lewis & Clark County Flood Information


Lewis and Clark County Flood Plain Ordinance

Flood Insurance Rate Maps

 

For more information, contact County Disaster & Emergency Services: 406-447-8285, pspengler(at)co.lewis-clark.mt.us

 

Governor's Request for Individual Assistance for Flooding has been Approved

 

Damage Assessment & Reimbursement

 

Homeowners and Businesses

Lewis and Clark County residents and businesses may become eligible for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help pay for flood damage. The SBA must first make a disaster declaration before loans will be authorized.

 

Before it will declare a disaster, the SBA requires that 25 or more homes in the county have uninsured losses of 40 percent or more.  To determine whether Lewis and Clark County will be eligible, residents and businesses with flood damage are encouraged to submit one of the following forms.

 

By June 30 at the latest, download the appropriate form, fill it out, and send by e-mail to pspengler(at)co.lewis-clark.mt.us. Or mail to Paul Spengler, Disaster and Emergency Services, 221 Breckenridge St., Helena MT 59601.

 

Farmers

The Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has initiated a cost-share program for farmers who have been unable to plant cropland, pasture, or hayland because of weather delays caused by flooding. Sign-up for the program is June 13-24. For more information, contact the Helena NRCS office, 790 Colleen St., 406-449-5000.

Recovery & Repair

Waste Disposal
County residents who have construction and demolition waste materials related to the June floods may contact the Lewis & Clark County Public Works Department at 447-8035 for guidance on how to dispose of the materials.

Approach Permits
The county will waive the cost of approach permits for residents who need to repair or replace private driveways and culverts that provide access to their property. Private property owners are responsible for these repairs.

Permits are available from the county Community Development and Planning Department, Room 230 City-County Building, 316 North Park, 406-447-8374. Permit applications and additional information are available elsewhere on the county website.

Flood Cleanup Kits

The Red Cross is providing a limited number of free flood clean-up kits to Helena-area residents who need them. The kits contain clean-up supplies such as rubber gloves, disinfectant, scrub brush, etc. To have one delivered to your home, call the Red Cross at 1-800-ARC-MONT (1-800-272-6668).

Clean-up Tips: After the Flood: Water and Mold Clean-up (PDF)

Donations

Anyone wanting to make a donation to the Montana Flood Relief Fund can send it to Rocky Mountain Credit Union, 3400 North Montana, Helena MT 59602, or drop it off at any of the RMCU branches in Helena.

RMCU has offered to match the first $5,000 in contributions. Donations will be collected until July 31 and distributed through the American Red Cross within the state. Checks should be made payable to Montana Flood Relief Fund.

Sandbags

The county has supplied about 90,000 sandbags to residents. Officials urge residents to leave them in place in anticipation of potential runoff from record high snowpack in the mountains. Residents also may keep sandbags for future use.

Do not dump sandbags along roadways or in drainage ditches or take them to the county landfill or transfer station. If you want to dispose of sandbags, you may take them to one of the following locations beginning Tuesday, June 21, at 5 PM:

  • Rossiter School parking lot, 1497 Sierra Road. Place sandbags in trailer provided for this purpose.
  • Helena Trap Club, Forestvale and North Montana. Empty sand at designated spot and place bags into dumpster.
  • Forestvale Cemetery, Forestvale and McHugh Road. Place sandbags on trailer.
  • Mill Road, between 726 and 760 Mill Road. Place sandbags on trailer.
  • East Valley Fire Station, 2694 Valley Drive. Empty sand at designated spot and place bags in dumpster.
  • Home Depot, 1801 East Custer. Empty sand at designated spot and place bags in dumpster.

Home Depot has offered to collect sandbags from people who are elderly or otherwise unable to dispose of their bags. Contact Sandy Gast, 442-7311, ext. 300.

For other information about sandbag disposal, contact the county Public Works Department, 406-447-8037 or 406-447-8040.

Roads

Road Closures: The Sheriff's Office has re-opened roads in the West Helena Valley with the exceptions listed below. Residents will be permitted to access homes on closed roads.

  • Kerr Drive, from Mill Road to Forestvale

Road Hazards: Rain and flooding have caused potholes, soft shoulders, and other hazards on some county roads. As a temporary measure, until roads can be repaired, the Public Works Department will mark hazards with traffic cones. Drivers are urged to drive slowly and carefully, especially on roads that are covered with water.

Water Quality

Wastewater & Septic Systems

  • Managing Your Septic System During, After a Flood (PDF)
  • Reduce water usage as much as possible to prevent further ground saturation.
  • Do not discharge sump pumps into septic systems, which were not designed to handle such large quantities of water.

Other Information:

  • Your Well: What to Do After the Flood (PDF)
  • Assume all flood water is contaminated with bacteria and other germs.
  • If you have a private well, and if flood waters have reached your wellhead, assume that your well water is contaminated.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about the quality of your drinking water, get it tested at one of these three local facilities: Alpine Analytical, 449-6282; Energy Laboratories, 442-0711; or State of Montana Public Health Laboratory, 444-2642.
  • Don't use contaminated water or questionable water for any domestic purpose, such as cooking, drinking, bathing, brushing your teeth, or making baby formula.
  • Use bottled water or disinfect water that may be contaminated. You can disinfect water in one of two ways: bring it to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, or mix it with household bleach at a ratio of 5 drops of bleach to 1 quart of water.
  • Avoid exposure to flood water if you have an open wound.
  • Don't allow children to play in flood waters.
  • Wash hands after coming into contact with flood waters.

Volunteers

The United Way is establishing a list of people who wish to volunteer, time, skills, or equipment to the flood response effort. To volunteer, call the United Way at 406-442-4360.

Utilities

  • Residents with concerns about electrical infrastructure should contact NorthWestern Energy's Operations Call Center, 1-888-467-2669.
  • Do not dig trenches or holes to divert water without first calling a locator service to make sure utilities will not be compromised. Locator services are available by calling 8-1-1.
  • Flooding may create electrical hazards. If you suspect damage to your electrical system (for example, if wiring has been under water, wires are visibly frayed, or you see sparks), turn off the electrical system in the building. Do not turn it back on until electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.