Flooding Information Headquarters

 

Cascade County officials would like to thank everyone involved in this incident. The community support, volunteer effort, agency collaboration, and cooperation from residents affected by the flood allowed Cascade County to respond efficiently to keep community members safe. From rescue to recovery, we have been grateful for everyone’s work. It is times like this that show the true colors of a community and we are proud to be part of Cascade County and neighbors with all of you! Thank you.

 
For all up to date highway information visit the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) website.

Volunteers

If you would like to volunteer contact Simms Volunteer Fire Department at (406) 264-5700 or Vaughn Volunteer Fire Department at (406) 781-9716.

Flooding Clean-up Resources

Sandbags can be disposed of two ways. Residents may empty the sand/dirt on their property and throw the empty bags in their trash cans or they may take full bags to the landfill for a fee.

After the Flood: Mold

After the Flood: Sewage System

After the Flood: Disinfecting Water

Disinfecting Home Wells

After the Flood: Safe Drinking Water

After the Flood: Contaminated Food

After the Flood: Coming Home And Cleaning Up 

CDC Flood Water Clean-up

Hygiene After a Disaster

Financial Assistance Resources

General Flooding Information


Click here to search your address to find your official flood map and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.

River and Water Supply Decision Support Site

To prepare

  • Gather the emergency supplies you previously stocked in your home and stay tuned to local radio or television station for updates.
  • Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if evacuation appears necessary.
  • Have your immunization records handy or be aware of your last tetanus shot, in case you should receive a puncture wound or a wound becomes contaminated during or after the flood.
  • Fill bathtubs, sinks and plastic soda bottles with clean water. Sanitize the sinks and tubs first by using bleach. Rinse and fill with clean water.
  • Bring outdoor possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills and trash cans inside or tie them down securely.

Emergency Supplies

  •  Several clean containers for water, large enough for a 3-5 day supply of water (about five gallons for each person).
  • A 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food and a non-electric can opener.
  • A first aid kit and manual and prescription medicines and special medical needs.
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
  • Sleeping bags or extra blankets.
  • Water-purifying supplies, such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach.
  • Baby food and/or prepared formula, diapers, and other baby supplies.
  • Disposable cleaning cloths, such as “baby wipes” for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available.
  • Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc.
  • An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Rubber boots, sturdy shoes, and waterproof gloves.
  • Insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin, screens, or long-sleeved and long-legged clothing for protection from mosquitoes which may gather in pooled water remaining after the flood.

During a Flood

During a flood, water levels and the rate the water is flowing can quickly change. Remain aware and monitor local radio and television outlets. Avoid flood waters at all costs and evacuate immediately when water starts to rise. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

  • Stay Informed: Listen to radio and television, including NOAA Weather Radio if possible, check the Internet and social media for information and updates.
  • Get to Higher Ground: If you live in a flood prone area or are camping in a low lying area, get to higher ground immediately.
  • Obey Evacuation Orders: If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Lock your home when you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.
  • Practice Electrical Safety: Don’t go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises–get out! Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!
  • Avoid Flood Waters: Don’t walk through flood waters. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 if possible. Do NOT drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade; Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide hazards such as sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc. A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in seconds 12 inches of water can float a car or small SUV, 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.

After a Flood

When flood waters recede, the damage left behind can be devastating and present many dangers. Images of flood destruction depict destroyed homes and buildings, damaged possessions, and decimated roadways. However, what you can’t see can be just as dangerous. Floodwaters often become contaminated with sewage or chemicals. Gas leaks and live power lines can be deadly, but are not obvious at first glance.

  • Stay Informed: Stay tuned to your local news for updated information on road conditions. Ensure water is safe to drink, cook or clean with after a flood. Authorities may ask you to boil water for a while after a flood. Utility companies often have apps to update you on getting service back. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms when areas are dealing with power outages. Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage.
  • Avoid Flood Waters: Standing water hides many dangers including toxins and chemicals. There may be sharp objects under the water or the road could have collapsed. If it is likely your home will flood, don’t wait for evacuation order, get out! Talk to friends and family about emergency visits. If you have pets, take them with you or get them somewhere safe.
  • Avoid Disaster Areas: Do not visit disaster areas. Your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
  • Heed Road Closed and Cautionary Signs: Road closure and other cautionary signs are put in place for your safety. Pay attention to them!
  • Wait for the All Clear: Do not enter a flood damaged home or building until you’re given the All Clear by authorities. If you enter a flood damaged building, be extremely careful. Water can cause floods to collapse, ceiling to fall, etc. Make sure the electrical system has been turned off. Have the power company or a qualified electrician fix wires. Contact your insurance agent to discuss property damage.
  • Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay so they can help spread the word.

Wells and Safe Drinking Water

If you are on a private well, and the well head is surrounded by water, assume that the well water is contaminated.  Until the floodwaters recede, and you can test and disinfect your well, you should use bottled or boiled water for drinking.
Even if your wellhead is not underwater, floodwater and high groundwater can cause contamination by traveling along the well casing or getting in through the distribution system. Testing for bacteria is a good indicator of whether floodwater has contaminated your well. Several water labs in the area that can run this test.  The Health Department has test kits available.  The test kits are $22 each.  Results take about two days to receive. If initial test results show that your well does not have bacteria, be aware that rising water and changing flood conditions may cause the well to be contaminated after you test.
There are a few methods for killing bacteria and viruses in contaminated or potentially contaminated water:
  • Boil water for five minutes and store in a clean container. The flat taste can be eliminated by shaking the water in a bottle or pouring it from one container to another.
  • Mix 5 drops of household bleach with 1 quart of water (or 20 drops per gallon) and let stand for at least five minutes (preferably 30 minutes to an hour) or longer before drinking. Bleach should be unscented and free of detergents or additives.
Because bacteria and viruses are not the only possible contaminants in wells affected by flooding, bottled water is the safest for drinking water. You don’t necessarily have to buy bottled water, you can use your own bottles and fill them at a source known to be safe.  

If you are a Great Falls Water customer, the flooding situation has not affected the quality of your drinking water. The wells in the Great Falls Water system are carefully and frequently monitored. If a Great Falls Water well becomes vulnerable to potential contamination because of its proximity to a flooded area, Great Falls Water has the ability to inactivate the well and provide customers with drinking water from another protected well.

https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood
https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/readiness.html