As we approach our usual spring flood season, several contributing factors exist that could lead to flooding affecting homes and property.

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As Patrick Lonergan, Gallatin County Emergency Manager explains,

“We won’t know for sure if we will be adversely affected by flooding beforehand, however we have several contributing factors primed to support extensive flooding.  We have had significant moisture in the valley floors that is now melted, but the soil in many places appears to be saturated with limited capacity to absorb more water.  This means most new water will flow across the surface of the ground seeking someplace to go.  Additionally, we have a large amount of water contained in the mountain snowpack that we saw the first sign of melting last week.  These are both contributing factors that can lead to flooding that affects our community.”

People in areas near any sort of waterway are encouraged to spend a little time and develop a plan on how they will protect their property should they be affected by flooding.  Waiting until you see flooding begin will almost certainly put you behind the curve in protecting yourselves.

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The difference between high water that you’re watching and a flooding situation that is affecting you is a very fine line which often changes very quickly with the highest water levels occurring in the middle of the night.

Everyone is highly encouraged to register in the Community Notification System so officials can provide geographic warnings when we see a wide spread issue developing.  A couple minutes spent registering the addresses you care about and how you want to be alerted will help emergency officials ensure they can provide timely warnings directly to those who are affected.  Learn more and register at https://www.readygallatin.com/community-notification-system.

Information on utilizing sand bags, or plastic wrapped bales, for diverting water is available at https://www.readygallatin.com/flooding.  The best source for bulk sand bags is Bozeman Brick and Tile on Jackrabbit.