Insurance can help offset costs in case of a flood - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Insurance can help offset costs in case of a flood

Posted: Jan 09, 2018 6:03 PM Updated:

It's not uncommon to see businesses and homes in Lewis and Clark County or Montana near bodies of water.

The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation has administered a national flood insurance program, which is a program that provides federal flood insurance and disaster assistance.

"A lot of people don't know that they live in a high-risk flood zone or be in an area that gets ice jams sometimes," Michelle McNamee, a Montana DNRC floodplain specialist, said.

McNamee added that everybody throughout the state is at risk of a flood of some sort.

Ice jams occur in rivers and creeks where a buildup of ice combined with warm temperatures can push up a wall of ice and fan out in banks and creeks causing a rush of water to flood surrounding areas. 

This process is similar to a dam breaking.

"We try to get this word out early and often about the potential of flooding," Traci Sears, national flood insurance coordinator for the Montana DNRC, said. "We have a lot of snow around here, we could see flooding in crawl spaces, basements, and lower areas of residences and businesses."

Sears said the DNRC has some questions and concerns during flood season such as, 'Are they in harm's way?' 'Do you they need to get out immediately?' and 'Is the structure protected in such an event?'

According to the DNRC, a helpful element is flood insurance.

It is important to note that when flood insurance is purchased, it takes 30 days for the policy to take effect.

If damage occurs before the policy, a person will most likely not be reimbursed.

To search locations that are at a high risk of flooding, click here.

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